Facebook extends Messenger capabilities to business websites

With version 2.2 of the messaging platform, Facebook is introducing a customer chat plugin that enables cross-platform customer interactions.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Facebook's Messenger is integrated into the Bodeaz website.


Facebook on Tuesday is taking the wraps off of version 2.2 of Messenger, introducing a series of new business-friendly features to the messaging platform. The new version includes a customer chat plugin that lets businesses integrate Messenger into their own website.

The plugin should help businesses maintain fluid communications with customers on their website, in Messenger and on other devices. As customers move across platforms, the plugin ensures their conversation history with a brand is maintained. The plugin also supports Messenger capabilities like payments, natural language processing (NLP) and rich media.

Now that most consumers use multiple devices and platforms to interact with brands, cross-platform communication is a significant part of customer service -- Facebook said the plugin is one of the mostly highly-requested business features for Messenger.

"KLM wants to be where its customers are and make it convenient for them to ask questions throughout the entire customer journey," Pieter Groeneveld, SVP of digital at Air France KLM, said in a statement.

KLM is one of the partners using the plugin in closed beta, along with Adore Me, Air France, Argos, Aviva, Bodeaz, Goibibo, Keto Mojo, Mermaid Pillow, Spoqa, Total Activation, Volaris, and Zalando.

Meanwhile, version 2.2 of Messenger includes several other updates, including:

  • A new media template that should help businesses share images and videos in a more interactive fashion. The template allows businesses to attach a Call to Action (CTA) button when sending content like videos, images, or gifs, so that they can prompt users to take actions like sharing the content.
  • The Broadcast API, being released in open beta, which enables businesses with the pages_messaging_subscriptions permission to send messages to multiple subscribers with a single API request. A sports site, for instance, could using it to send game-score alerts to its subscribers who follow a specific team.
  • The new Page-level feedback feature, which allows businesses to see how people rated their Messenger experience by clicking on Page Settings>Messenger.
  • The availability of built-in NLP in more languages, including Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
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