- Adidas and Sephora are among the brands testing Facebook's software update for its Messenger app that promises to help businesses manage consumer communications through sister app Instagram at scale. The new application programming interface (API) for Messenger lets businesses integrate Instagram with other enterprise software and workflows, Facebook announced in a blog post.
- Glossier, H&M, Michael Kors, Nars, Amaro, MagazineLuiza and TechStyle Fashion Group are among the consumer brands that also are participating in the most recent test of Messenger's new API. Clarabridge, a maker of software to analyze consumer interactions, participated in those earlier tests and saw its client brands improve response rates by as much as 55% through managing Instagram direct messages on its platform.
- Businesses saw higher response rates, lower resolution times and more consumer insights in the earliest tests of the Messenger software, Facebook said. The update to Messenger's API also lets businesses that sell through Facebook Shops integrate Instagram messaging with their social media storefronts, according to the social network.
Facebook's update to its Messenger API aims to help businesses improve their interactions with customers who use Instagram, the photo-sharing app that's especially popular among teens and young adults. The deeper integration between Messenger and Instagram could help mobile marketers that either advertise on Instagram or sell directly through Facebook's family of apps by giving them more tools to manage communications with consumers.
With millions of people spending more time at home during the pandemic, Facebook has seen a more than 40% surge in daily conversations between people and businesses on Messenger and Instagram, according to the company. Those conversations can become unwieldy for businesses if they must manage and maintain them on separate platforms, or require them to have dedicated teams just for Instagram and Messenger.
Because many businesses use other kinds of customer relationship management (CRM) software and systems to handle interactions with consumers, they're looking for solutions that offer a more complete picture of their customer base. A more personalized view is especially important for customer service representatives who may be the only direct point of contact that people ever have with a business. A deeper integration with Messenger and Instagram gives businesses a way to manage their interactions with customers who increasingly use the apps for support.
The continued integration of Facebook's messaging apps comes as the company increases its push into e-commerce. Earlier this month, Instagram added shopping capabilities to Reels and IGTV, and in July the photo-sharing app debuted Instagram Shop as a hub for personalized recommendations, exclusive items and collections of products from brands and creators.
U.S. consumers this year are spending more time on mobile messaging apps to stay connected with others during the pandemic. The average amount of time adults spend on mobile messaging apps will grow 20% to 24 minutes a day in 2020, with the increased engagement on Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Apple iMessage, researcher eMarketer forecast. That increased usage may also signal that consumers have grown more reliant on messaging apps to interact with businesses.