Facebook on Thursday is rolling out a series of new business and developer tools for Messenger, its next step in building out the business ecosystem in the messaging platform.
"It is still early on the monetization side," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday regarding Messenger and WhatsApp, Facebook's other messaging platform.
"I want to see us move a little faster here, but I'm confident that we're going to get this right over the long term," Zuckerberg continued, on Facebook's Q2 earnings conference call. "The biggest strategic thing that we really need to do in messaging right now is make it so that people organically interact with businesses and that that is a good interaction both for people and for the businesses."
Facebook rolled out version 2.0 of the Messenger Platform just this past April that laid the groundwork for natural business-to-customer interactions. Version 2.1 includes new features that should help developers build the more organic experience Facebook is striving for.
The new features and tools include:
Both Messenger and WhatsApp have more than 1.2 billion monthly active users. While Facebook on Wednesday was specifically highlighting user engagement on WhatsApp, Facebook CFO David Wehner said on Wednesdsay's earnings call that in terms of monetization, "we're further along with Messenger than we are with WhatsApp." The company has started showing ads to a small number of people on Messenger and plans to roll out the global beta of that.
Still, COO Sheryl Sandberg stressed that Facebook's moves with respect to Messenger monetization will be "slow and deliberate."
"Messaging is really strategically important for the company and the long-term engagement with our users, and the organic feel of the engagement with businesses and consumers is where we will be focused," she said. "So it's early days this year, and it's going to continue to be early days for a while."