By Brady Rothschild, Account Support
The Facebook Development Conference (F8) took place in California this week. Facebook laid out their strategy for the next ten years and many of the announcements will make a direct impact on businesses. This shows how they are going to keep people as well as businesses connected in every possible way, bridging the gap between physical space and access to information and friends. Facebook rolled out its vision for the next 10 years, and below are some of the highlights that will impact Facebook for businesses.
Facebook believes that the future is in the messenger apps rather than the social networks. They are not saying the social network is dead; however they are saying the growth of social media platforms are not growing as fast as the messenger apps are, with more users joining the messenger applications. Messenger is now open to 900 million active users monthly. 50 million Small Businesses. 1 billion messages between people and businesses. Businesses and people messaging more and more this shows how comfortable people are using this platform to privately engage businesses.
The Facebook messenger will be able to help customers engage in questions they have for a company/brand by talking to a chat-bot. This will allow people to interact in a new way with the brands they love. The chat-bots will be able to give customers services like a call center would, however the chat-bots will be available in a much more convenient place 24/7. The bots can be pre-programmed by companies to answer the questions that customers/loyalists may have. The bots will be there to give anyone information at any time anywhere. The Bots can be over-ridden by a real person that will allow the users to solve more complicated problems. Messenger will especially help e-commerce sites and result in more and more ways as it develops out of beta.
Companies will be able to create ads on messenger that potential customers and click on and engage in a conversation about the products the company has. Although they are going to keep sponsored posts/messages limited.
Live video is another feature that Facebook is going to be heavily invested in. The advantage to Facebook’s live video over other platform’s like that of YouTube, is that if your customers are looking at other things on Facebook they have the ability to discover it. Whereas on other platforms people have to actively search for the video. Facebook can also send notifications to fans of your page to see what is happening live. This will be great for new product releases, product launches and other exciting brand announcements.
Facebook realizes people want to have privacy online and understand that users see that users see their mobile devices as an extension of themselves. The point of their new Messenger functions is not to intrude in the lives of people, by adding to the clutter of ads people get already. Instead they are trying to make it easier for customers to engage with the brands they value most on another level. The brands get the advantage of reaching the customers where the customers are based, rather than having to go out and look for their audience. This keeps the conversation going in a way that is comfortable for consumers, whilst still remaining private.
I think that this is going to be a massive movement towards turning small businesses into global businesses. By using the tools Facebook will be providing, people will be more connected. It will make it easier for the businesses to find the customers they want. They will be more responsive to the needs of customers, because they can interact privately with them. The interactions are better and more personalized where needed.