It’s been ten months since Facebook announced Business on Messenger, which lets businesses integrate into the chat app and communicate directly with customers. Facebook’s kept mum about how the feature is evolving, and offers little information beyond a page inviting companies to learn more. But many companies are trying it out, including big brands like Hyatt, Walmart, and KLM airlines, as well as smaller e-tailers like men’s fashion company JackThreads. In December Uber launched an integration allowing customers to hail a ride directly from Messenger, and Lyft will do the same within weeks.
Facebook hopes businesses will embrace Messenger to reach customers, take reservations, and even sell stuff. This already is happening in Asia. Chinese users buy movie tickets on WeChat, play the lottery on it, shop on it and even book travel over it. But so far it hasn’t been clear that people in the US want to use chat apps the same way.
Zendesk is providing many of the companies, including etailers Everlane and Zulily, trying Messenger with the software that allows them to respond to customers at scale.
This is Facebook’s hope. Beyond customer service, it wants users to migrate to chat apps—and in particular, Messenger and WhatsApp, which it also owns—for every aspect of commerce, including discussing and tracking purchases and even buying things directly. Commerce, however, may be a harder sell for companies.
Curated from The Hip New Way to Complain to a Business: Facebook Messenger [Wired]
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