Facebook is continuing to update its Facebook Messenger to become more ecommerce friendly as it seeks to become the dominant messenger service in the world. Messenger has become more flexible in the way it can be used, including simple chat bots so businesses can answer simple questions automatically, a digital wallet that allows users to buy through Facebook, and a work chat so businesses can communicate and collaborate. Facebook also added its first airline, and messenger users can book flights through KLM. For those who need a ride, they can get a ride through Uber or Lyft.
Sports Page Network reported that Facebook Messenger is being converted to a mobile wallet to compete with Samsung and Apple. Facebook is preparing Facebook Messenger to become an “Everything App,” an app that will replace many of the apps that users have on their smartphones. A report released by The Information said that some of the source code discovered in the latest version include “pay in person,” “pay when the item is picked up” and “no cash needed.”
— Forbes (@Forbes) April 1, 2016
Although many companies like Google, Samsung, and Apple have been in the mobile payment arena since 2011, Facebook has been slow to make the switch. Now that David Marcus, who previously worked as president for Pay Pal, has moved to Facebook, many tech people are expecting Facebook to move into the digital wallet arena as well.
As previously reported in The Inquisitr, Facebook is moving to make Facebook Messenger a retail hub as it picked up its first airline, and passengers can now book flights as well as receive updates from KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. Passengers can also star a chat thread to ask questions, as well as receiving booking confirmation, flight status, and boarding passes.
— Forbes Tech News (@ForbesTech) April 3, 2016
Mobile payments are big business. According to Forrester Research mobile payments are set to grow to around $142 billion. Even if Facebook moves forward with its plan to create mobile payments for Facebook Messenger users, it will require a lot of resources and some time to create before it’s a viable option for consumers.
Forbes reported that businesses are preparing their chat bots for Facebook Messenger. Chat bots allow businesses to answer simple questions for customers, similar to the way a frequently asked questions section on a site can be used to answer the most common questions businesses have. It also allows businesses to provide interaction with their customers and become more responsive. Businesses will still provide customer service through Facebook Messenger as some questions cannot be answered with a simple chat bot. It will, however, save companies time in answering simple questions.
— Marketo (@marketo) April 1, 2016
Many businesses are expected to line up at Facebook’s developer conference in San Francisco on April 12 and 13. Facebook’s focus for the conference and Facebook Messenger centers on three specific areas: ecommerce, advertising, and customer service. Facebook has already released a software development kit that allows businesses to create their own chat bots. Although this toolkit was released months ago, it is still a work in progress.
Chat bots, payment options and allowing businesses to offer their products and services through Facebook Messenger open up new tools Facebook can offer businesses while allowing Facebook to generate new revenues. Facebook has yet to give a timetable for when these features will be available. While businesses that traditionally look to Google as a place to spend their ad dollars, Facebook Messenger offers a place for businesses to interact more intimately with customers and engage their audiences.
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