Over the years, Facebook Messenger has become a potent force in the field of marketing. Thousands of businesses use Messenger each day to drive growth and engagement. According to Facebook, there are over 300,000 active bots on Messenger and over 8 billion messages are exchanged between brands and their customers each month. This goes to show the growing importance of Messenger in connecting people with their brands of choice. Facebook has always prided itself on forging connections with people and has taken this to another level with its new feature.
Facebook recently came out with another spectacular addition to their Messenger platform. It now offers brands the ability to “incorporate augmented reality into their Messenger experiences.” Using this new feature, businesses will be able to leverage Facebook’s Camera Effects Platform to seamlessly integrate AR with Messenger. This will help in bridging the gap between the virtual and the physical world.
The feature is simple and easy to use. To incorporate AR into their business model, all brands have to do is prompt the customers interacting with them on Facebook Messenger to open the camera. The camera will be “pre-populated with filters and AR effects” that are customised according to your brand. The feature allows customers to share the image and video. They can do so by adding it to their story or posting it in a group or in a one-to-one conversation. Users also have the option to simply save the image or video to their camera roll.
As Facebook points out, there are certain situations where visualising the product becomes essential for people before they feel comfortable enough to buy it. This is especially relevant to online shopping. While shopping online, it is not possible to inspect the product physically which can, at times, deter people from making the purchase. This is where AR comes into play. Using this feature, people will be able to understand how the product looks and can also ask their family and friends for their input on the same. According to Facebook, “This feature — launching in closed beta — leverages the nature of messaging to help people get valuable, instant feedback about purchases, customizations, and more, without ever needing to set foot in a store.”
Facebook has offered the feature to the following brands: ASUS, Kia, Nike, and Sephora. These brands will be able to add AR effects to their Messenger experience. “ASUS will be bringing the ‘unboxing experience’ to life with the ability to get a deeper look at phone features and functionalities, and Kia will give people looking to buy a car the opportunity to customize and get up close and personal with the Kia Stinger. Nike is using Messenger to drop a new pair of sneakers, giving people an exclusive sneak peek at them through a curated and visual red carpet experience. And Sephora is making trying on new makeup easier than ever with a selection of looks to try on and share.” This feature, therefore, offers an immersive experience where customers will be able to use the product virtually, thereby increasing customer engagement.
However, at the moment, this feature is not available to all. As of now, the AR feature is only available to the aforementioned brands. According to Facebook, if you are a brand that wants to use this feature, you can sign up for the waitlist here. You will be notified by Facebook when the feature is rolled out either globally or to others.
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