Facebook has announced a number of new Messenger-focused developer updates that could help the service compete with the features available on Apple’s iMessage platform.
At its F8 Refresh developer conference on Wednesday, Facebook announced new APIs for WhatsApp and Instagram, as well as a Login Connect with Messenger feature, among other updates. Some of the new features compete with existing Apple products.
The WhatsApp Business API, for example, will allow customers to receive information from companies on the messaging platform. Additionally, businesses will be able to get up and running faster with significantly reduced onboarding time.
With new list options and reply messages, users will be able to quickly make selections from a menu of different reply options.
Along with the WhatsApp Business API, Facebook also announced that all businesses will now have access to its Messenger API for Instagram. The API is intended to consolidate and automate business communications.
The Instagram API will allow businesses to use the tools they already have on Facebook platforms, allowing for a streamlined and improved experience for customers. Previously, Facebook only had similar systems on WhatsApp and Messenger.
Additionally, Facebook makes it easy for customers to choose to message businesses directly. A new Login Connect with Messenger feature allows users to choose to connect with businesses directly from the Facebook login page.
In its own tests, Facebook says that about 70% of participants with access to the login connection chose to send messages to companies. Facebook says it will allow for deeper consumer engagement with businesses, as well as more personalized customer service.
Along with new business communication tools, Facebook also announced new augmented reality features for users, including an API that will allow developers to create AR effects for multiple users simultaneously.
Stay on top of all Apple news right from your HomePod. Say “Hey Siri, play AppleInsider” and you’ll get the latest AppleInsider podcast. Or ask your HomePod mini “AppleInsider Daily” instead and you’ll hear a quick update straight from our news team. And, if you’re interested in Apple-centric home automation, say “Hey Siri, play HomeKit Insider” and you’ll hear our new specialized podcast in a few moments.