The message from Facebook's F8 Conference this week is that they plan to expand user engagement through a growing number of standalone apps that go far beyond what Facebook.com could ever expect on its own. Virtual reality, the internet of things, ad exchanges, and app analytics were all touched upon; Facebook published what businesses should know and Ignite Social Media highlighted five items that marketers should keep watch on.
The emergence of Messenger as a platform is at the top of the list. Two new features were announced. 3rd party apps will be able to supply rich content in messages, which has a nice viral effect because the recipient will need to have the app to view the content. A discovery tab will suggest new apps. Facebook also partnered with Zendesk to create Businesses on Messenger, which will enable customer service and selling traditionally handled via email and phone.
It is easy to see Messenger developing as a platform for ordering everything from pizzas to rides to flights with all customer inquiries and updates being resolved within the app. One-to-one communications are a key part of the world's largest social network's future plans.