Facebook pushes businesses to Messenger with new tools for Pages, including Snapchat-like scannable codes

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 5:12 PM

As portion of these changes, businesses will presently look their Facebook Page usernames being more heavily promoted across the site, and they’ve been given two new ways for people to start chatting with them: Messenger Links, which are brief URLs, and scannable Messenger Codes.

Facebook pushes businesses to Messenger with new tools for Pages, including Snapchat-like scannable codes

A day after people started noticing Facebook was presently suggesting business to chat with while in Messenger, the social network officially announced a suite of tools and updates designed to assistance Facebook users better connect with the businesses using its platform. As portion of these changes, businesses will presently look their Facebook Page usernames being more heavily promoted across the site, and they’ve been given two new ways for people to start chatting with them: Messenger Links, which are brief URLs, and scannable Messenger Codes.

Love Facebook users, some Facebook Pages also have vanity URLs, Facebook explains, such as facebook. com/JaspersMarket. Those that have a vanity URL already have a username – it’s the portion of that URL after the slash (e. g. @JaspersMarket).

Going forward, these usernames will be placed directly on a business’s Facebook Page, directly underneath the Page title with the @ symbol in front of it. Those Pages who don’t have a unique username will wish to create one, and of course those who haven’t paid much attention to their vanity URL before may wish to create some changes before this feature goes live.

Given that this feature will presently tie into Facebook’s larger plans around connecting customers to businesses, it'll be critical for Page owners to snag the username they wish to represent them on the network. That could trigger a “land rush” of sorts for some of the more common names that haven’t already been snatched up by way of a business staking a claim on a vanity URL.

Facebook notes that these unique usernames will be able to be set and edited, and the feature will roll out in the “coming weeks.”

Along with this announcement, Facebook also debuted Messenger Links and Codes, which will assistance customers more easily start conversations with businesses by way of Facebook’s Messenger service.

Messenger Links are basically short, memorable URLs that get advantage of the Page’s username combined with Facebook’s own URL shortener. These will be in the format “m. me/username,” and when clicked, they'll immediately open up a chat with the business in question in Messenger.

Similarly, Messenger Codes will serve the same purpose of opening up chats, but are instead unique codes that people can scanning in Messenger using the camera on their phones. Scanning codes is something that Snapchat has popularized as a means of adding friends to its competing networking app, so it’s fascinating to look Facebook also now taking a step in this direction as well.

However, in this case, the codes are aimed at Facebook’s business customers. The codes can also be used in ads, websites and other marketing materials, Facebook says. These Messenger Code images for download are being delivered via the Page’s inbox.

Finally, Facebook will authorize businesses to customize their “Messenger Greetings,” which is a new feature that pops up a note in the message thread between a business and customer before any messages are sent. The idea here is that businesses can set the tone or pass along necessary information to those who are reaching out to chat.

This isn’t the first time Facebook has offered a way for businesses to customize, save, then automatize their communications with customers, we should point out. Latest year, it rolled out a tool called “Saved Replies,” which let Pages reply to customers using Canned Messages, for example.

Facebook today didn’t address the “Suggested Businesses” portion appearing for some users in Messenger, which indicates that either that feature isn't live for all, or is still just a test.

However, what's clear is that Facebook is intent on helping Pages and businesses create the transition from the larger social network to the Messenger chat service.

This thrust comes at a time when more users are shifting over to private messaging apps to socialize and spend time on their phones. Not all businesses on Facebook have made Messenger or chatting with customers a priority, instead focusing on maintaining and updating their Pages. With the new tools, rolling out in the “coming weeks,” Facebook is giving those businesses a heads up that mobile messaging can number longer be ignored.

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