Facebook opens Instagram Biz messaging, Amps Up AR – WWD
To help keep online shopping booming, Facebook opened up its Instagram messaging developer tool, so everyone can create new messaging experiences where consumers already congregate and shop.
At its virtual developer conference, F8 Refresh on Wednesday, the social media giant opened up general availability of the Messenger API for Instagram, a developer tool that has been in beta testing since October. Back then, only 30 developers and 700 brands were participating, but now any brand or business can use it to create new messaging experiences for support and customer service.
The move looks like a step up from the previous ways brands and Instagram users connected.
Businesses had to launch Instagram to chat with customers or use Facebook’s unified business inbox, which didn’t work well for businesses with intense large-scale customer communication requirements or who wanted to integrate those chats into others. databases or customer service platforms. But with the Messenger API, brands can embed Instagram chats into these and other apps for insight and data optimization, record keeping, loyalty programs, or just to keep tabs on their massive communications on. social networks.
For example, L’Oréal Luxury Malaysia knew that many of its beauty clients were active Insta users, said Eda Lim, digital manager for L’Oréal Luxury Malaysia, in a video released during the presentation. But its customer service agents struggled to deal with the community’s large volume of direct messages, comments and Instagram stories.
“Our solution was to partner with Jumper.ai to integrate the Messenger API for Instagram and create an automated experience for Messenger,” she said. “With this digital assistant, we could easily connect with people on Instagram and have a conversation with them through messaging on Instagram.”
The company saw a 30% increase in the number of qualified leads compared to other channels, she added, a 20% conversion rate from views to actual purchases, and a reduction in customer wait times. registration for beauty consultations just two days.
The Paloma trading platform believes messaging features could become high performing sales channels, and it has closed a $ 4 million round of funding to pursue it. He just launched Instagram Sales Inbox using the Messenger API, in hopes of turning Instagram messaging into a scalable personalized shopping channel for brands and helping businesses sell more through DMs.
Instagram isn’t the only Facebook platform to benefit from messaging processing.
WhatsApp has announced that it will also support a wider range of messaging, so retailers and other organizations can stay in touch with people and keep them updated on things like product availability, local appointments, and more. Moreover. Users will also receive reply buttons and a set of messages to save them the drudgery of manually pecking common replies. This should save a lot of hunting, pecking, and swiping, given that over 175 million people already use WhatsApp for business messaging.
Facebook also revealed a new feature called Login Connect with Messenger, which allows users to opt for messaging with businesses. It is still in testing, but will be launched in the coming months.
The company has constantly evolved its messaging services, especially as the era of the coronavirus pandemic has poured rocket fuel into e-commerce, and it clearly hasn’t been done yet. In fact, he’s heading into new territory: augmented reality.
Spark AR, Facebook’s AR developer tool, announced a new ability to create coordinated AR experiences for video calling on Messenger, Instagram, and Portal. Think of it as the shift from augmented reality from a solo effort, with a single user on a single screen, to a multi-user, multi-screen experience.
It’s now available for Messenger and will open soon for Instagram and Portal, and the Spark AR team is now accepting applications for the AR video calling beta.
This joins another intriguing update to Spark AR called “Multiclass Segmentation”. This is because the feature allows AR creators to simultaneously augment multiple segments of a body.
As a recent blog post on Instagram explained, “You can now combine multiple segmentation textures, including hair, skin, and person, into the same effect. We also make it easy to control several texture properties, like edge softening, which creates an outline around the person in your scene, and mask size, which adjusts the size of the outline.
Ultimately, that means developers will be able to create more realistic and complex AR filters – from fantastic character effects to high-fidelity virtual clothing – and with a greater amount of granular control.
According to Facebook, Spark AR is now the most widely used mobile AR platform in the world, with a community of more than 600,000 creators from 190 countries and more than 2 million AR effects published on the family of apps and Facebook devices.
The community has grown so much, in fact, that it apparently deserves its own rewards program. And that’s how the company got involved by announcing the new AR Creator Awards.
It’s not quite the Oscars, but given the technical prowess involved, it could make for an equally daring feast for the eyes … and more.