Future of Facebook Messenger revealed

While it maintains most features like the heavily criticized Messenger Day, it supposedly organizes features better.

The announcement of the new version of Facebook Messenger was made at the annual Facebook developers conference, F8. People must opt in to talk with a business on the service.

Messenger is just the latest platform to start experimenting with branded augmented reality. People and businesses use Messenger to send over 8 billion messages each month, Facebook said, although it did not say whether companies or users account for the majority of those communications. This time, the Messenger gets support for augmented reality. This is especially important to brands that have products that customers feel more comfortable buying after touching, seeing up close or trying on, such as apparel. It's certainly true that people often ask for input from their friends or their family before committing to a purchase. The headset will support 1,000 apps, games and experiences at launch. "Integrating AR camera effects into their messaging experience will allow their customers to get up close and personal with the Stinger and visualize the vehicle in a new and engaging way".

ASUS, Nike, Kia, and Sephora are the first companies participating in the closed beta test. The French cosmetics company, for instance, allows people to try on new makeup and share what it looks like with friends. But, that will change once this new AR feature goes official. Being able to translate messages "live" - initially only between English and Spanish, but soon many languages - means that global ecommerce and marketing is suddenly a really easy and interesting proposition on the Facebook platform.

Primarily for businesses, those who receive messages from others through Marketplace in another language will receive a request for a translation, or what Facebook's calling an M Translation. This will help drive commerce between buyers and sellers despite language barriers. At launch, Messenger will offer translations from English to Spanish, and vice-versa, in conversations taking place in the United States. Messenger has become a tool for businesses to connect with customers, and the ability to converse with customers in a variety of languages could help bump up advertising.

Messages exchanged with bots on Messenger have quadrupled since past year, with over 8 billion messages exchanged each month on the platform.

  • Carolyn Briggs