Facebook Messenger: What is in store for the latter half of 2019?

Lindsey Pizula

By: Lindsey Pizula

Senior Strategist

Facebook continues to invest in Messenger year after year - in 2019, it is reported that a whopping 1.3 billion people use the app every month, with 20 billion messages sent through the app each month. This reflects a bigger overall trend with messaging app adoption; eMarketer predicts that by the end of 2023, 3.12 billion people globally will use a mobile messaging app at least once a month.

As one of its larger goals for the platform, Facebook aims to merge Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp onto one singular messaging property. In general, Facebook aims to make the relationship between these applications clear, appending the names of Instagram and WhatsApp to “Instagram from Facebook” and “WhatsApp from Facebook.” Following the footsteps of Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram regarding paid opportunity for brands, Facebook reported that WhatsApp will support advertisement efforts likely in 2020, further justifying the investment.

With this ambitious mergence in mind, the tech giant has work to do, particularly when it comes to easing privacy concerns. Luckily, enhancing the fundamental aspects of the app appears to be at the very top of their list. This has not stopped the development of features that will be key in helping to increase adoption and business applications as Facebook forces these changes into its ecosystem of apps. Below are some exciting updates for Messenger announced at this year’s F8 Conference.

Project Lightspeed

Facebook aims to make Messenger much faster and agile. The goal is for the app to load in under 2 seconds with the app only taking up 30 MB of storage space.

Close Friends from Facebook

Easy-to-Find Content From Users’ Closest Friends

The new Messenger will have a dedicated section for users to discover and easily locate the content from their closest friends and family.

Cowatching from Facebook

An Even Bigger Emphasis on Video

  • Facebook will be launching a feature that will allow users to watch videos together in real time on Messenger. Think: a funny clip found on Facebook or a trailer for the latest action thriller coming to theaters.
  • Facebook will be launching a desktop app for Messenger that will allow users to connect with friends and family seamlessly from device to device. This desktop version of Messenger will share the same mobile Messenger features, such as group video calls.

Lead Generation Templates from Facebook

Better Online/Offline Solutions for Businesses

Facebook has released plug-and-play solutions for businesses to build upon – these solutions are aimed to make it easier to generate leads, drive in-store traffic, and provide effective and prompt customer service through the messenger platform.

  • Lead Generation templates will be available directly in Ads Manager so advertisers can seamlessly collect Leads through an automated question and answer flow which will lead to a seamless handoff to a live agent.
  • Users Will Be Able to Book Appointments on Messenger

Fast facts about Messenger

  • Messenger launched in August 2011
  • There are 40 billion monthly active businesses on the app
  • 20 billion messages are exchanged between users and businesses every month
  • According to eMarketer, 54.4% of US social media users said they preferred messaging channels, including Messenger, over email, phone, or online chat when communicating with a brand
  • 410 million users connect over video chat on Messenger every month

As a reminder to brands, there are a number of ways to advertise on and encourage the use of messenger:

The Messenger Ad Placement is an additional location advertisers can run their ads on Facebook. Users will see ads on the home page of their Messenger app, that can then drive them to a location such as a web page or a conversation thread within Messenger.

Sponsored messages allow advertisers to retarget users who they have already been in conversation with. Advertisers will be able to include an image with text or text only, and include a relevant call-to-action.

The Messages Objective offers advertisers the opportunity to create campaigns that generate meaningful conversations, gather leads, answer questions, offer support, and anything else that may lead users to a transaction.

Recently announced is Stories Ads that click to Messenger. Facebook reports that 500 million people are sharing stories every day across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp, and story adoption only looks to be increasing. This option allows advertisers to capitalize on the increasing engagement and success of both Stories and Messenger.

Stay tuned as next week we will be taking a deeper dive into the topic of Facebook and Data Privacy.

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