Facebook took a giant step towards making its Messenger app more useful for business without the help of third-party websites. The social media behemoth on Monday announced that its 30,000 bots can now accept payments natively without directing you to third-party websites.
Facebook Messenger’s David Marcus announced today onstage at the TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2016 on Monday. PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, Stripe, American Express, and Braintree are first set of payment platforms the social media company is partnering with for a start. What this means is that your credit card info that has been stored in either Facebook or Messenger can now be used to make instant purchases in bots.
“Moving forward, we are also simplifying the payment and checkout experience in order to reduce the overall friction between wanting something and getting it. People can use their payment information already stored on Messenger and Facebook to check out faster in Messenger threads,” Facebook said on Monday.
The company also announced that businesses will now be able to sell and render services directly to customers, while customers can check out without exiting the app:
“We’re kicking off the beginning of messages with payments that will allow businesses to sell products and services directly to customers in Messenger. Customers can check out with a few easy clicks, without ever leaving the Messenger app. Merchants will be able to onboard with a simple self-serve onboarding flow.”
At the moment, the new additions are still being tested by a few developers with a view to a global launch in the near future. Business and developers interested in testing the services can apply to be included in the beta.
More ways to share bots
Going forward, users can now share bots they discover with their friends on Messenger. To share messages with your friends, simply click on the share icon attached to a message bubble. “Also they [users] can share the bots that they love directly. Friends will receive a message with the bot name, icon and button that allows them to directly start a thread with that particular bot.”
New welcome screen
The new Messenger platform now has an updated Platform that includes a welcome screen. The welcome screen provides you with more information about what experience lies ahead. The social media company said: “businesses can customize their introductory text and people will now have more context to begin their interaction.”
In August, Facebook added shopping and services section for small businesses monetization. The Shopping section will allow businesses list their products and allow customers put in an offer through Messenger. While the Services section will let small businesses do similar thing, but this time around, offer services to customers/clients. If you own a business Page on Facebook, you can now list prices, along with photos and description of what you want your customers/clients to buy from you. Small businesses usually deal with customers on a one-on-one basis, which basically explains the use of Messenger.
There is more information on Monday’s update for developers interested in the additional technical features and specifications. Interested developers should visit the Messenger Developer Blog to find out.