Facebook Unveils New Instagram Messaging Options For Businesses

Facebook Unveils Instagram Options For Businesses

Facebook used its annual F8 event for developers Wednesday (June 2) to unveil new tools to let business clients interact with customers.

The company said in its announcement that it is making the Messenger API for Instagram available to all developers.

“Our vision is for messaging to be the primary way people and businesses communicate,” said Facebook Vice President for Platform Partnerships Konstantinos Papamiltiadis in the announcement. “Making it is as convenient, unobtrusive and personalized as possible, using the same familiar apps and features used to communicate with family and friends today.”

And customers can now opt into messaging businesses through Facebook Login. In a pilot, Facebook found that 70 percent of the new Facebook Login Connect chose to opt into messaging.

Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012. The image- and video-sharing service launched in 2010.

Papamiltiadis continued in the announcement: “Whether it’s story replies, direct messages or mentions, engaging with brands is increasingly appealing for customers and important for businesses.”

Facebook is also releasing new tools to make its WhatsApp Business API easier to use, which is used by more than 175 million people daily to contact business-connected WhatsApp accounts, according to the announcement. The updates include reduced onboarding times, new interactive messaging features and supporting more types of messages to improve communication between brands and consumers,

Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014 for $16 billion in cash and stock.

“We’ve cut down the time it takes for businesses to get started on the WhatsApp Business API by reducing the onboarding process from weeks to just five minutes,” the announcement stated.

Also on Wednesday, Facebook previewed the new Multipeer API for Spark AR Studio, its augmented reality creation software. With it, “creators will be able to build effects that deliver a coordinated experience across multiple call participants,” according to the announcement, building “AR experiences for video calling on Messenger, Instagram and Portal.”

Consumers are increasingly interested in conversation commerce, Chase Petrey, vice president and general manager of payments at Podium. recently told PYMNTS: “You have the convenience of a digital experience by you have the support of a real person behind it, educating you and helping guide you through the purchase process.”