Date
25 March 2017
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaking during last year's F8 developers conference in San Francisco. Photo: Bloomberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaking during last year's F8 developers conference in San Francisco. Photo: Bloomberg

Facebook focusing on Messenger tools to help business

Facebook Inc. is adding improved tools for business on its Messenger app.

The new offerings will use so-called chatbot technology to help users order goods and services through the app, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

They will be unveiled at the social networking giant’s annual F8 developer conference at Fort Mason in San Francisco on Tuesday and Wednesday.

This will be the second consecutive year Facebook has highlighted Messenger at F8, a sign of messaging’s growing prominence inside the company, the newspaper said.

Last year, Facebook opened Messenger to outside developers, including makers of photo and video editing apps, and businesses such as Everlane and Zulily, which use the app to field customer questions and provide shipping updates, the report said.

One potential partner for the new Messenger services is 1-800-Flowers.com Inc., which sells and delivers flowers and food baskets.

The company could contact past customers over Messenger about upcoming holidays such as Mother’s Day and highlight promotions, the Journal said.

Over the last year, Messenger has stepped up efforts to connect its 900 million users with businesses, such as by allowing users to hail rides on Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc.

Facebook is also expected to reveal more about its push into live video, it said.

It earlier introduced a feature that allows users to stream live video to select people such as family, instead of all followers.

– Contact us at [email protected]

RA/CG

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe