As businesses continue to use the Messenger Platform to build experiences that facilitate connection with customers, we’ve been working hard to make it easier than ever to improve these interactions and ultimately drive results. We continue to receive great feedback from our developer community which helps us define our roadmap and build new tools. It’s thanks to this feedback that today we are announcing our 2.2 release, which we believe will help developers and businesses reach their customers in new and engaging ways, improve the quality of their unique messaging experiences and make it easier to build and iterate on the Messenger Platform.
Introducing Customer Chat Plugin
One of our most highly requested features is the ability to extend Messenger experiences onto a business’s website. Today, we are happy to announce the release of the customer chat plugin in closed beta. With customer chat plugin, people can chat with businesses on their websites and in Messenger (across web, mobile or tablet) and transition back and forth seamlessly without losing the conversation’s history and context. This makes it easier for customers to continue the conversation with a business whenever and wherever it’s most convenient for them.
In addition to extending the conversation across multiple surfaces, the customer chat plugin supports current platform capabilities such as payments, NLP, rich media and more. To ensure the Messenger web experience is as feature-rich as the Messenger App, we will continue to add new capabilities as the Platform expands.
Beta partners launching this week include: Adore Me, Air France, Argos, Aviva (Eurofil), Bodeaz, Elves, Goibibo, Keto Mojo, KLM, Mermaid Pillow, Spoqa, Total Activation, Volaris and Zalando.
Improved Messaging Experiences and Page Management
In order to make image and video sharing more interactive, we are releasing the media template, which allows businesses to attach a CTA button when sending videos, images and gifs, or when sharing content from the webview. The template also supports FB URLs. Previously, businesses could only send media as standalone items. By attaching a button, businesses can now include user actions like a share button to the video/image and increase engagement.
We are also releasing the Broadcast API in open beta, which gives businesses with the pages_messaging_subscriptions permission the ability to send messages to multiple subscribers with a single API request. For example, a news publisher might use the Broadcast API to send breaking news alerts to all their subscribers, or use custom labels to send game-score alerts to sports fans who follow a specific team.
With our new Page-level feedback feature, we are also making it easier for businesses to view people’s feedback so they can iterate and improve upon their Messenger experience. Businesses can now see how people rated their Messenger experience by simply clicking on Page Settings > Messenger. This is particularly helpful for businesses that have multiple service providers powering their Messenger experience as the feature aggregates all feedback in one place.
Automation in more Languages
We launched Built-in NLP in July as a simple way to automatically detect meaning and context in every text message that a person sends, before it gets passed to a business’s bot. Starting today, in addition to English, Built-in NLP is now available in Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish and Vietnamese. The default NLP model is able to detect the following entities in all supported languages: date and time, location, amount of money, phone number and email.
More In Messenger’s 2.2 Release:
Handover Protocol: Launched in beta this past April, Handover Protocol enables multiple Facebook apps to collaborate on the Messenger Platform to enable a better chat experience between people and businesses. Handover Protocol is now available globally, and offers integration with businesses’ Page inboxes, including prior versions.
Page Insights API: This is a programmatic way to retrieve a number of metrics that are also available in a business’s Page management console, including the number of messages delivered per broadcast ID.
Messaging type flag requirement: Starting today, we’ve created a “messaging_type” property which is required in all requests to the send API. This property identifies the messaging type for the message being sent. This is a more explicit way to ensure developers and businesses are complying with policies for specific messaging types and respecting people’s preferences.
Please note that after a six month integration period, the messaging_type property will be mandatory and all messages sent without it will not be delivered. We recommend implementing it as soon as possible and also expect to add more required flags in the coming months.
New Message Tags – We’ve added two additional Message Tags:
Application update – Notify the message recipient of an update on the status of an application (e.g. a job application). Pairing update – Notify the message recipient that a pairing has been identified based on the recipient’s prior request (e.g. a parking spot is available)
Send sponsored messages via a Messenger Platform API: We’ve created a new API endpoint that allows you to send sponsored messages with a single API request. Businesses may also continue to buy sponsored messages via the Marketing API.