Facebook has announced a new ad feature that connects its News Feed to the Messenger App. Now you can target users as they browse their way through Facebook and prompt them to start a conversation with your chatbot in Messenger.

There are some other new features making their way to the bot platform, too – so let’s take a look at the latest changes in Facebook advertising.

 

News Feed to Messenger ads

The big headline coming out of Facebook is that Messenger can now be set as a destination for News Feed ads. So we’re not talking about a new ad format or design here; the key difference is the call to action (CTA) button and where it takes users. Here’s a preview from Facebook:

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*Source: Facebook for developers

 

We’re being told you can set the CTA text to whatever you like. “Send Message” is the default setting but you can see “Learn More” has been added in the screenshot above.

We always like to see customisable CTAs, as they help reinforce your ad message and conversion goal, but you don’t get much space to work with on these buttons.

You can find out more information on setting Messenger as your ad destination here. However, there’s not much to it. You set up your ad as normal and simply select Messenger from the list of destinations:

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*Source: Facebook for developers

Naturally, these ads are designed for those interactions where users need more information or want to reach out to you directly. We’ve got a coupon promotion in the example above but you could just as well introduce a new range of products, prompt people to make a table reservation and a wide range of other conversion types.

Once users click your CTA they’re taken right to Messenger where your bot takes over the proceedings. And there are some changes coming to the Messenger bot platform too.

 

Facebook testing Messages with Payments

Sadly, this one only counts for a select number of developers in the US (for now), but Facebook is testing a new payment system built into Messenger.

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*Source: Facebook for developers

Assuming this goes worldwide by the end of the year (as Facebook plans), it will be a major shift in how people can browse and buy products. We’ve already got a similar integration between Facebook and Shopify stores – as we recently announced – but this would open instant payments to all Facebook advertisers.

So a future where you can set your CTA to “Shop Now”, and let users complete the purchase inside Messenger, is coming it seems.

 

Bots get prettier with welcome screens

When users click an ad to speak with your bot they’ll be taken straight to the conversation – no messing around. However, when users choose to pay your bot a visit by their own accord, they’ll be greeted by these new welcome screens:

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*Source: Facebook for developers

These give you space to offer more information about your bot and give users prompts about which kind of information/tasks they can expect.

Other changes coming to Messenger include:

 

  • Enhanced mobile pages [BETA]: Allow users to interact with the mobile version of your site from inside Messenger. You can dictate how much of the screen your site takes up, allowing the conversation to continue as they interact with your website.
  • Sharing bot content: Users will soon be able to share the content they get from bots with their friends.
  • Quick replies update: Locations and icons have been added to the quick replies collection – more info here.
  • App level analytics: You can now download analytics for bot performance in CSV format.
  • Faster multimedia sends: Speed up the process of sending multimedia via Messenger.

 

It’s getting difficult to keep up with all the latest changes coming at us from Facebook, Google and the other key players in digital advertising. Things are moving so fast now it’s anyone’s guess about what could be coming next. So be sure to keep up with the latest developments as we bring them to you here on our blog and social media.