This could be a big help for brands conducting customer service via messages. Today, at its F8 Developer conference, Facebook announced an expansion of its Messenger API for Instagram, which will enable businesses to feed their Instagram Direct messages into their existing CRM platform, streamlining management and response.
As explained by Facebook:
"Back in October, we began beta testing the Messenger API for Instagram with a group of select businesses of all sizes and developers, giving them new tools to manage their customer communications on Instagram at scale. Now, after a successful beta test, we are globally rolling out the new API features so businesses can integrate Instagram messaging with their preferred applications and workflows, helping them drive more meaningful conversations that increase customer satisfaction, and grow sales."
Indeed, some platforms, like Hootsuite, have already integrated the new functionality, providing more ways to action message responses, and assign tasks within teams.
Facebook says that the integration will streamline management of messaging workflows, ensuring that all messages, from multiple platforms, will come into a single stream.
"For example, upon implementing the API, Kiehl’s in Malaysia scaled customer conversations that were coming in through different entry points such as Instagram Feed, Instagram Stories, mentions, and Instagram DM’s to make it easier to follow up with people or respond to sales leads. The result led to a 20% conversion rate from consultation to sales."
For larger businesses, this will be a key consideration, but even for SMBs and single-person management teams, the integration could still provide significant process benefits, enabling you to keep tabs on interactions and ensure each is actioned in sequence.
And with messaging becoming a bigger element of the discovery and purchase process, particularly as eCommerce activity continues to rise, this could become an even more important focus over time. Providing more ways for people to get in touch, via the platforms they prefer, should be on the radar of all brands, and improved integration of such will have ongoing efficiency benefits.
The new Messenger API for Instagram is now available to all developers, while Facebook will also be rolling out access for business accounts on Instagram via a phased approach.