Facebook Beefs Up Its Messenger Service
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) has been working to prove that the company is more than just a social media website. The company's Messenger app has long been an additional way for users to contact friends through the site, but Facebook is hoping that new features will help propel the app into a standalone service.
On Wednesday, Facebook announced that businesses which use the site for advertising will now be able to have private conversations with customers. Ads appearing on a potential customer's Newsfeed will now include a "send message" option, which they can use to contact the company directly. Companies can also use the service to privately message users, though users will still have the ability to block unwanted messages.
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The new feature is expected to help smaller companies convert potential customers into sales faster and more efficiently. Giving customers the ability to directly contact a business as soon as they become interested in a product or promotion is much more likely to result in a sale as it encourages impulsive decisions and instant gratification. To give users an idea of how responsive a company is, Facebook is planning to award badges to businesses that respond to the majority of their messages within five minutes.
With over 40 million small and medium businesses already using the social media platform to advertise, Facebook is hoping that the new feature will draw in more advertising revenue. The company is expecting the new offering to be especially popular in southeast Asia, where many customers already use Facebook as their primary means to contact businesses.
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