Facebook brings Messenger API support to Instagram Direct

The messengers for Facebook and Instagram were recently merged, now the social network is adding new messenger API features to support Instagram Direct – but these are still in the beta version.

It has only been a few weeks since Facebook comprehensively launched the long-announced merger of the messengers of its platforms. So Instagram Direct and Facebook Messenger are now connected. In addition, ten new features have been introduced for Instagram Direct that offer users even more messaging options. Now Facebook is also updating the Messenger API. This enables companies to optimize their customer communication via Instagram Direct, while Instagram messaging is simplified across platforms.

Customer communication via Instagram Direct and Facebook Messenger is becoming increasingly important

The daily conversations between users and companies on Facebook Messenger and Instagram Direct have risen by 40 percent over the past year, according to Facebook in the official blog post. According to this, companies have good opportunities via the messaging channels Facebook to increase customer satisfaction with suitable messages – or even to boost sales via these messages. A Michael Kors Marketing manager commented accordingly:

Instagram is a platform for community building, and we’ve long approached it as a way for us to connect with our customers in a place where they are already spending a lot of their time. With the newly launched Messenger API support for Instagram, we are now able to increase efficiency, drive even stronger user engagement, and easily maintain a two-way dialogue with our followers. This technology has helped us create a new pipeline for best-in-class service and allows for a direct line of communication that’s fast and easy for both customers and our internal team.

Michael Kors is one of those who can currently test the new features of Facebook’s Messenger API in the beta version. Above all, the support for Instagram messaging should please users.

Manage Instagram messages in one place

The Messenger API from Facebook now allows companies to manage messages from users on Instagram in one place. For example, if messages come from stories, profiles or shops, they can be merged. Companies that have integrated a CRM system can provide stakeholders with an overview of customer loyalty because they can access business core data and Instagram insights.

The Facebook Shops messaging features are now also integrated in the Messenger API. Therefore, companies can initiate more personal and targeted conversations in this context as well.

Communication in the context of Facebook shops
Communication in the context of Facebook shops, © Facebook

In order to be able to take advantage of these options, companies have the opportunity to work with their developers to integrate Instagram messaging into existing tools or systems.

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Customer satisfaction and responsiveness should be increased

Users and potential customers particularly appreciate the speed of response and personal messages when they contact companies and brands on Facebook or Instagram. Therefore, Facebook is introducing automation features for Instagram for the first time. These allow an immediate answer to common and frequently asked questions. In the case of more complicated inquiries, users can again be referred directly to live support via these automatic answers. For example, Facebook’s partner and software company Clarabridge was able to increase the response rate of its clients by 55 percent because Instagram Direct Messages could be managed via the Facebook API.

Direct support in Facebook's messengers
Direct support in Facebook’s messengers (click on the picture to get a larger view), © Facebook

Facebook would like to make it easier for its users, partners and companies in general to communicate with other people and customers across the app family. The updates for the Messenger API have been released so that this works smoothly and quickly. These can still only be used by a few companies, including H&M, Adidas and Sephora. But some developers have also been included in the test with the beta version.

On average, brands have saved at least four hours per agent per week by streamlining social community management within the Khoros platform, plus shortened response rates during business hours – which is crucial to meet as customers who message brands on social media expect a quick reply,

explains a spokesman for the software and communication company Khoros. Companies that want to access the new features of the Facebook Messenger API after the beta phase can now register on a waiting list. For developers, on the other hand, there is a developer waiting list.

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