Facebook's Messenger app is expanding in a big way. After introducing features like stickers, quick videos and even payments at the F8 developer's conference, Facebook announced plans to expand Messenger further with Messenger Platform and Messenger Business.
With Messenger Platform, Facebook's flagship chat app will become a vessel for sending content via outside applications. Joining Messenger's text, photo and voice recording tabs will be a new section for tapping into third-party apps. Currently there are 40 apps, such as Giphy that lets you embed that special GIF.
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With a roster of app partners that includes Giphy, Memes and song-sending program Ditty, Messenger Platform is giving Facebook users more ways to send silly or cool content to friends. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Messaging VP David Marcus demoed the feature by sending GIFs to one another via Giphy, an activity that could quickly catch on among meme-loving Facebook addicts.
That same extra-personal approach to chat spills over to Messenger Business, which has the potential to revolutionize customer service. Facebook will allow businesses to integrate with Messenger, so you'll be able to get receipts, change an order, check your package's geographical location or get technical support all from the same app you use to stay in touch with friends. For those businesses that participate, Messenger alerts will simply become a checkbox on your checkout screen.
Between third-party app integration and customer service support, Facebook looks to be pushing Messenger as one of the only communication apps you'll need to have on your phone. Messenger Platform is available to developers now, with dev support for Messenger Business on the way.