Facebook has this week launched its latest Messenger platform update, which includes new private reply options, more control over persistent menu display and additional URL link options.
First off, on private replies - Facebook is now giving developers more options to respond to Page comments with private messaging tools:
"Private Replies used to only allow plain text to be sent. With this update, businesses can send images, templates and quick replies as part of messages sent in response to a post or comment on their Page."
You can see the new quick replies option in action here:
The options will provide more capacity for businesses to better manage Page interactions via message - which, given the rise in messaging use, could prove particularly valuable, if brands can get it right.
Facebook is also providing the capacity for developers to "dynamically change the persistent menu and the visibility of the composer, providing relevant menu options at different points in the customer’s journey".
You can see an example of the persistent menu in Messenger at the bottom of the screenshot here:
This new capacity will enable developers to better personalize the listed menu options based on how the user interacts, and what elements they move into through their interactions.
This capacity is currently in closed beta - interested developers and partners can sign up to take part here.
And lastly, Facebook's adding App Link Support for URL buttons.
"Now when people click URL buttons with the App Link metadata, it will enable developers and businesses to provide a button that will directly open the target native app."
So rather than having the user click-through, and having a web browser version of the target app open on their device, you'll be able to guide them direct to the app itself, providing a better user experience.
The changes here are quite technical, and will require a level of platform expertise to implement, but they provide increased capacity for businesses utilizing Facebook Messenger to better connect with users, and facilitate more personal, and personalized, interaction.
You can read more about the latest Messenger updates here.