Facebook unveiled new developer tools for business messaging
In this year’s virtual F8 conference, Facebook announced a slew of improvements to their messaging platforms, specifically interesting to us are changes being made to Business Messaging. Facebook executives listed out new product features for WhatsApp Business users that will help them interact with their customers more efficiently. One of the key announcements was that all developers will now have access to the API for messaging on Instagram.
The following are some of the key takeaways for us:

1. Facebook Webchat Plugin - A few months back, Facebook partnered with developers to redesign the plugin and add a new feature that allows people to message businesses even when they are not logged in to Facebook.

2. Feedback Template – Facebook is introducing a new customer feedback template in the messenger template that can help businesses ask for feedback directly from the chat window. This simple template helps businesses get timely feedback.

3. Instagram Messenger APIs – Facebook has made the Instagram messenger API publicly available to all developers.

i. Businesses need not manage Instagram conversations separately, and can integrate messenger API to their preferred platform and manage all conversations in a single page.

ii.  The messenger API can be integrated with order management systems and other tools to help businesses be more efficient.

iii. The messenger API will have key automation tools that allow for ultra-fast query resolutions. Chats can be seamlessly transferred between automated workflow and a live agent for a more personalized support.

4. WhatsApp Features – WhatsApp is rolling out new rich messaging types that can improve customer experiences.

i. List Messages - List messages allow businesses to build a menu of 10 list options that customers can easily select during chat conversations.

ii. Reply Buttons – Reply buttons are quick replies with three button options, and it allows customers to quickly select a reply option with just a tap.

iii. End-to-End Commerce – Similar to the WhatsApp Business app, customers can view a business catalog and quickly make an order or have a conversation.

5. New Types of WhatsApp Template – WhatsApp is adding new message types that customers can opt to receive via WhatsApp. They are

• Boarding Pass/Shipping Updates

• Information Alerts

• Back-in-Stock Messages

• Product Recommendations

• Appointment Alerts

• Deals & Offers

6. Increased Control on WhatsApp – WhatsApp now allows customers to add reasons for blocking a business, which will help them regulate the Business app and Business API better.

7. WhatsApp Business Onboarding – WhatsApp is revamping its business onboarding solution. Businesses can sign-up with certified Business Service Providers in just a few clicks and the whole onboarding process just takes around five minutes.

8. Login Connect with Messenger – With this new feature, customers can opt to use Facebook login for business app/website account creation. They can then opt to connect and message with the business using Facebook messenger. With this feature, businesses can send personalized welcome messages and deepen their engagement with new customers.