Facebook has released a slew of new capabilities to its Messenger 'Bot' Platform. Of particular importance is its new “Payments” service which is currently in BETA and restricted to the US. This will enable Messenger users to shop and make purchases directly within the platform.
The 'Bot' store was first opened at the F8 conference in April and this is the second major announcement. It appears Facebook has put significant focus on evolving its Messenger platform into a futuristic enabler of conversational commerce.
Facebook has no doubt taken inspiration from China’s Wechat messenger which opened up its payment application to businesses on March 2014.
Facebook Messenger payments are powerful for several reasons:
- Facebook Messenger has more than one billion monthly active users
- Facebook Messenger is about conversation, so automated customer service scripts can be seamlessly be combined with purchase
- Facebook has millions of business on its site already, in the form of Brand Pages, so the potential to convert them to this new payment mechanism is significant.
In addition of adding payments, Facebook Messenger is now integrating with its Ad platform so brands can now push targeted traffic directly to their chatbots.
We crunched our mobile behvaioural panel data to see how many of our panelists have downloaded the Facebook app versus Kik. The Bot Store went live in April and the trend is positive. We can't attribute this to the Bot store, but it is a good indicator of the solid investment and focus being applied by Facebook to its Messenger platform.