Facebook’s Messenger app has become a popular way to communicate with businesses. Six months ago, the new app was launched with features targeted at companies as a way to talk to their customers. Last month the social media giant introduced its artificial intelligence assistant for Messenger, named M, to help automate some communication processes for businesses. M already assists users in making dinner reservations and ordering flowers.
Other new features added to Messenger allow users to easily send money. The free service requires a debit card but has built in security features, such as an optional PIN number. Facebook has said the service is only for sending money to a friend. It cannot be used by businesses. This could save customers time, however, by not having to enter their information every time they make a purchase. It would already be available through Facebook.
It may be too soon for Facebook to go ahead with a monetization strategy for Messenger, but there are a few ideas they have been considering. Businesses could push commerce, earn repeat customers, and offer special discounts to Messenger users. Another concept is click-to-message ad features, which launch a Messenger window when an ad is clicked to communicate directly with the advertiser.
More than 700 million people use Messenger every month, so it would make a lot of sense to add features like payments and customer service. Facebook could also utilize its virtual reality platform, Oculus Rift, in conjunction with Messenger to market and push products to potential buyers. This, of course, will not happen for quite some time, but the possibilities are limitless. The Oculus Rift virtual reality technology is set to launch next year, and could be the future for a myriad of new commerce opportunities.
With all the new features being implemented by Facebook, it could become a popular e-commerce hub. Payments could be expanded to push other purchases and services. With the added possibly of offering virtual goods such as movies, music, and games, or providing more shopping options for physical items, it could help to move large amounts of product to repeat customers quickly and easily. In addition, it could also appeal to advertisers interested in selling directly on Facebook.