Following the recent announcement of the integration of Messenger and Instagram Direct, Facebook is now also updating its Messenger API to include support for Instagram messaging, which will provide businesses with a range of new connection opportunities through its messaging tools.
As explained by Facebook:
"The new API features enable businesses to integrate Instagram messaging with their preferred business applications and workflows; helping drive more meaningful conversations, increase customer satisfaction and grow sales."
Using the Messenger API essentially enables businesses to build additional procedures and processes on the back of the Messenger infrastructure, facilitating more advanced usage of Facebook's messaging tools. The update will enable organizations and third party messaging providers to create new workflows to maximize Instagram Direct within your business messaging process.
"It will be possible for businesses to use information from core business systems right alongside Instagram messaging, enabling more personal conversations that drive better business outcomes. For example, businesses integrating with a CRM system can give agents a holistic view of customer loyalty. This update will also bring Facebook Shops messaging features to the Messenger API so businesses can create more engaging and connected customer experiences."
The update will also enable automation of Instagram Direct responses for the first time, which will provide another way to engage with potential customers, even when you're not physically able to reply.
It could be a big update for brands looking to maximize their Instagram opportunities - and according to Facebook, the data suggests those opportunities are growing fast:
"Over the last year, total daily conversations between people and businesses on Messenger and Instagram grew over 40%. For businesses, the opportunity to drive sales and improve customer satisfaction by having meaningful interactions with people on Instagram messaging is huge."
It's a more advanced option, but as noted, the API update will enable third-party providers to create new automation flows for Instagram Direct, which could be an easy way to integrate these new processes into your Instagram messaging, and provide more, immediate response options for your customers.
The new Messenger API is currently in beta, but those interested in utilizing the final product can sign up for the waitlist here, while developers can sign up here.