At the Facebook Developer Conference today, one of the major announcement in the keynote was the imminent launch of Business for Messenger. Head of Messenger, David Marcus, said they want to “reinvent how people and businesses communicate”.
Business for Messenger clearly borrows several things from WeChat’s Official Account platform, but it appears initially focused on e-commerce where as WeChat Official Accounts started from content distribution.
Like WeChat, Facebook is creating a way to commingle business and people together in your Messenger contacts. Notice in the image below that Messenger communicates the online status of the business so consumers have an expectation of response time, a feature missing from WeChat.
Interestingly, Facebook demonstrates the connection starting on the web — specifically the shopping cart — and moving to mobile via the user’s Facebook web log-in. WeChat has yet to roll out similar web tools and most following of WeChat Official Accounts happens via QR codes.
User’s will get a push notification when the business messages them.
Business for Messenger will initially support sending and receiving text and images, as well as custom layout cards for the business. The most interesting of these are (almost) real-time package tracking that updates in the card.
Business for Messenger is slated to support open integration with other chat providers, so in the near future you’ll be able to manage customer service through WeChat, web chat, and Messenger simultaneously in your Grata Console.
Images courtesy Business for Messenger.