Zendesk adding customer support via Instagram, says social is surging

Helpdesk software provider Zendesk this afternoon said it will add the ability for customer support reps to take inbound requests directly from Instagram.

Zendesk, the maker of customer support software, this afternoon announced that it is integrating support for Facebook's Instagram photo-sharing service directly into its software, so individuals on the social site can message support reps without leaving Instagram.

The capability is in beta at the moment and will be available next year, said Zendesk.

Use of social networking as a means of customer support is surging, the company said. Inquiries coming through WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Twitter DMs, and SMS rose by almost 50% during the months of February through August this year, according to the firm's data. 

Integration is made possible by incorporating Instagram's Messenger API. Responses from customer support are displayed in the conversation history in Instagram.  

Facebook has increasingly positioned its prosperities, including Facebook proper, Instagram, and WhatsApp, as multiple options for merchants. In July, the company said it had over 180 million businesses using its merchant tools on a regular basis. Facebook has over 9 million advertisers on its platform, it said. 

The Zendesk announcement is the latest case of software makers integrating the photos site. In August, e-commerce software vendor BigCommerce announced it would integrate Instagram's check out feature into its software, to let individuals order directly from Instagram, as well as manage their shopping cart or their outstanding orders with the merchant from within Instagram.