Facebook messenger is now going to appear to businesses’ own websites. With this new launch of Facebook, a social chat plugin will appear on the website of the businesses, which allows customers following the Facebook business page to directly chat or talk to the executives of the businesses and get answers to their queries regarding the service or products of the business. The version 2.2 of Facebook messenger is launched for this website chat plugin. With messenger platform 2.2, Facebook aims to help businesses and developers “reach their customers in new and engaging manner”. Messenger’s customer chat plugin allows businesses to carry on conversations with customers between their website and Facebook messenger. You can carry out this conversation across web, mobile, and tablet devices.
While there are already plenty of customer support and chat plugins for websites on the market, Facebook’s advantage is its platform and reach.
Not only does the ability to use messenger mean the business is making itself available within an application that now reaches some 1.2 billion monthly users and growing, the messenger platform also supports features like payments.
Facebook’s messenger platform 2.2 is available in only closed beta for the time being. Bots support both natural language and rich media, among other things.
As per Facebook, these features will also be supported in the beta version of the website plugin and new experiences will be added in time so the plugin is as “feature-rich” as the messenger app itself.
Like the other web chat systems, the messenger chat plugin is designed to hover over the businesses web page and is indicated by the familiar blue messenger icon. While customers start a chat session with the business, they will be presented with the same messenger interface that they have already used from the starting of using the Facebook messenger app on their mobile devices.
When customers leave the website, they will still be able to view or continue their conversation from their mobile devices or tablets, using the messenger app. This features of the Facebook messenger 2.2 chat plugin is useful if the businesses doesn’t respond instantly to user requests coming in through messenger from the web.
For business that already have a sizable Facebook presence and regularly engage with customers through their Facebook page, a chat plugin for their website may make sense as they won’t have to maintain a separate channel for user inquiries from the web. It could also take some of the strain off the company’s support email that is where many websites today direct customer questions.
However, the Facebook messenger chat plugin may not be useful for websites that do troubleshooting and tech support through their chat systems as it does not connect with other back end support systems like when a chat session is the starting point for directing customers to the right support agent. It also lacks some of the more robust analytical tools the professional systems offer. And it may not be ideal for businesses that are cataloging online leads via chat.
The new addition of the Facebook messenger platform is only one of several ways Facebook has been targeting business customers in recent months. Earlier this year, Facebook has introduced new discovery mechanisms for finding messenger bots, and it allowed its messenger in-app assistance to suggest businesses’ bots when relevant to conversations. Facebook even tested messenger ads that would allow businesses to reach the app’s users with offers to chat, shop up for things, and more.