No-Nonsense Summary:

  1. Instagram messaging, WhatsApp, and Facebook’s Login Connect are all set to receive updates providing more efficient, easier-to-use customer interfaces and a smoother all-round business integration
  2. New Facebook Business Extension will allow third-party app development and integration, furthering the potential utility and UX of Facebook Business Suite
  3. Multipeer API for video calls will allow AR developers to create coordinated background effects and games for group calls
  4. All Facebook’s AI systems are moving to the open-source development platform PyTorch

What Messaging Changes Mean for Your Business

Instagram:

To improve Instagram’s business messaging functionality, the Messaging API for Instagram is being opened to all developers. This will allow them to integrate Instagram messaging with your favourite business apps and workflows, aligning Instagram’s business functionalities with those of Messenger and WhatsApp. It will also enable a variety of useful features, including predefined customer queries, automatic responses, and easy analysis through the app/workflow of your choice.

Highlighting that 90% of Instagram users follow at least one business, the folks at Facebook are right to be excited by the potential of these changes. And, since omnichannel communication is predicted to be one of the keys to brand success in 2021, so should you!

WhatsApp:

Similarly to Instagram, the WhatsApp Business API is being improved at both business and consumer ends. For businesses, onboarding is being made quicker and easier than ever before, so it will take as little as five minutes, while additional business message types will be supported including in-stock notifications and periodic business updates.

To match this, the 175m customers who message businesses daily through WhatsApp will be able to choose from a list of up to 10 quick-tap responses, minimising the time it takes per interaction while maximising ease of use. Updates will also allow more detailed feedback from customers on their WhatsApp Business experience, making it easier for businesses to assess and improve their messaging UX.

Login Connect:

Login Connect allows customers to log in to business websites quickly and easily with their Facebook account. Updates to this service will include a Messenger opt-in for customers, allowing businesses to create a more personal customer experience from the get-go through immediate and engaging conversation, setting your business out on the right foot within each buyer’s journey.

Once again, this ability to create deeper, more meaningful relations with customers from the outset could be what makes or breaks the growth of your business, and with Facebook’s own data showing an initial uptake of 70%, this seems like too good an opportunity to be missed!

How Facebook are Promoting Collaboration to Drive Engagement

Facebook Business Extension:

Facebook Business Extension is a new developer platform which will allow easier integration of third-party apps to Facebook business pages. Similar to the changes to the messaging platforms above, this is all about improving customer experience, making both interactions with your business and internal operations as easy and engaging as possible.

Spark AR Multipeer API:

After over a year of coming to grips with group calls, Facebook and Spark AR are providing a way to add some fun and keep us engaged, while also suggesting that regular group calls with family and friends are here to stay. Starting now, AR creators can apply to help build shared spaces and activities for group call participants through the Multipeer API platform, once again driving to improve UX in a fresh and exciting way.

PyTorch Becomes Default AI Framework:

Again shifting towards open-source development, Facebook are moving all their AI and machine learning models to PyTorch, allowing collaborative development and learning between their own developers and other contributors. The aim here is to promote faster innovation and development in areas such as personalisation models, hopefully supplying consumers with more relevant content in the right place, at the right time.

Conclusion

It’s clear that Facebook’s developments in UX and business integration have the potential to steer the future of B2C communication and marketing, and, given the importance of UX in building strong customer relationships, we’re excited to see how businesses will take advantage of such powerful and direct communication tools.