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Facebook Messenger deploys AR and other improvements at its F8 developer conference

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Facebook has announced new tools for its Messenger platform, including the possibility of using Augmented Reality (AR), at its F8 developer conference Tuesday.

Companies send and receive 8 billion messages via Messenger every month. The possibility for companies to create bots in the Messenger platform was introduced in 2016.

In an announcement and update on his Facebook blog, David Marcus, vice president of Messenger, touted the tool's current success: "To date, there are more than 300,000 bots active on Messenger … the year. "The post stated that 1.3 billion people use the service each month.

Prepare for the AR

Facebook will soon allow businesses to create branded augmented reality (AR) experiences for their customers using their cameras in Messenger. The company announced this feature in closed beta and said it would let 'people get valuable and instant feedback on purchases, customizations and more, without ever needing to set foot in a store. This feature is the latest addition for our AR studio, which offers expressive and immersive experiences across our family of apps. "

Even though it's in closed beta, brands such as Kia, Nike and Sephora will offer AR effects immediately for Messenger.

The company also announced the launch of M Translations that will offer translations to buyers and sellers connected through the Marketplace, saying, "Now, when people connected via Marketplace receive a message in one language different From their default language in Messenger, M will ask them if they want to translate the message … At launch, the translations from English to Spanish (and vice versa) will be available in market conversations in the United States. "

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The name of this feature seems to refer to the unfortunate personal assistant of Facebook, M, which was closed in January of this year.

I've talked to a few companies that use Messenger to see how they are going and ask them if they will use the new features.

Conversation Societies Found a House

Christian Brucculeri, general manager of the conversational marketing company Snaps, told me that his company has found "exciting results for consumer brands in the retail and automotive sectors. hotel. "

"We see the Messenger opportunity as a canvas for combining traditionally managed marketing and customer service use cases through channels such as e-mails, SMS, and message centers. phone calls, "says Brucculeri. using Messenger.

Joshua March, CEO of the Conversocial Social Customer Service Platform, agreed.

"Messaging is … easier to automate, with built-in robot platforms, and [it] allows brands to combine human and automation in a single conversation – so robots can speed up the resolution time without ever frustrating the customer – there is always a human agent ready to help), "said March. "We have implemented automation for more than 30 of our customers, which helps us identify the problem and collect the necessary information before bringing the client to a human agent, which allows us to do more." automate 15 to 20% of incoming messages. much faster resolution to consumers. "

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Octane AI proposes to ban abandoned carts

The Octane AI AI company also used F8 to announce its "conversational" trading platform for Facebook Messenger. The platform includes a Shopify integration, a bot product and gift finders, and an integration with Messenger that allows companies to report directly to users who have abandoned their trolleys.

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The company claims that more than one million people are connected to businesses and stores via its platform and that its customers are recording higher open and conversion rates and that they are more likely to be in business. they have recovered twice as much revenue from abandoned carts.

Ben Parr, co-founder and director of marketing, said his company offers something unique in the commercial space.

"Some companies only work on abandoning the cart and others on AI," Parr said. "There is no one here who brings the two together – we've combined the two to not only recover the abandoned carts and market via Messenger, but also to provide smarter product recommendations and customization." 39 other products, we are a complete marketing suite for conversational trading throughout the customer journey. "

Kia goes out with AR

CarLabs unveiled what he calls a one-of-a-kind AR Facebook Messenger experience at F8, showcasing the work he's done with automaker Kia. The company says Kia was chosen because of its previous work with CarLabs in the development of its intelligent digital assistant "Kian", which was launched in late 2017.

According to a press release announcing the work:

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Kian users in Messenger can place a 3D rendering of Kia vehicles in their location. The first of Kia's vehicles to be introduced is the Stinger 2018. Stinger enthusiasts can place the Stinger, in the color of their choice, in their garage or in any environment. Consumers can also share augmented reality images in group or one-on-one conversations in Messenger or in their individual story or recorded on their phone.

Brendan Flynn, vice president of CarLabs, said Messenger was the perfect choice for them.

"Messenger is a powerful tool for conversational marketing because of the ability to contextually target and re-engage car buyers in the market," Flynn said. "We found a 24% re-engagement rate when Kian, Kia's digital assistant, sends users a relevant contextual feedback message. Simply by putting Kian on Facebook Messenger, the brand saw an increase of 50 times the number of messages exchanged on this channel.


About the author

Robin Kurzer began his career as a daily reporter in Milford, Connecticut. She then made her mark in the world of advertising and marketing in Chicago in agencies such as Tribal DDB and Razorfish, creating an award-winning work for many major brands. For the past seven years, she has worked as a freelance writer and professional communicator in various business sectors.

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