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Facebook Promises An Improved Facebook Messenger For Business Owners And Shoppers

By Bien R. Gruba III , Sep 13, 2016 10:11 PM EDT
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Facebook is promising an improved Facebook Messenger not only for sharing messages but also for shopping and selling, mimicking the advancements that Kakaotalk and Wechat are doing for business owners and shoppers in South Korea and China.

Facebook has recently announced a slew of improvements in Facebook Messenger targeting business owners and shoppers, according to the company's recent announcement.

Facebook is now permitting users to begin a thread with a bot within the Facebook Messenger app by viewing a welcome screen to allow some context about its function and role, according to Next Web.

The company hopes that the changes will permit better accessibility to business pages in the social media site as well as show options related to associated category.

The update also includes improved tools to share bots and content between friends. Facebook is now allowing "seamless sharing of bots and messages from bots to friends on Messenger," as per their announcement.

Not only bots got an upgrade, but the Ads feature was improved too. According to Next Web, developers and business owners can now use Facebook Messenger as a go-to destination in Facebook ads. In the past, users were only limited to redirecting traffic to a Facebook page or a business URL; now they are enabled to directly target Facebook Messenger users and send them a direct message if the user has the app in their smartphones.

Facebook's payments features also had an upgrade, although it is still in beta stage and only used in the U.S. The proposed new payment feature allows for Messenger app users to buy items without leaving the app, similar to what WeChat does in China and KakaoTalk in Korea.  

"Messages with payments offer industry-leading controls and users' financial information is always protected with bank-level encryption," the company said.

The beta version of the Payments feature is currently only available to developers, but users all over the world can anticipate a broader roll out before 2016 ends.

Lastly, also in beta stage and strictly for developers only at the moment are features that allow business owners to improve customization to their mobile sites allowing them to display the site within Facebook Messenger.

Facebook added that "features that simplify the checkout experience and allow for stored payment information for faster checkout are also on their way."

The social media giant did not divulge a specific deadline when these features will appear for all users worldwide, but the company is apparently racing to catch up with Wechat in China and Kakaotalk in Korea, both of which dominate nearly 90 percent of their respective nations. So most likely, Facebook will reveal the new features in the not so distant future to avoid getting left behind and to have greater market share in Asia.

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