Facebook really thinks it makes sense for you to conduct direct conversations with brands via Messenger bots - you really should do it. To help facilitate this, The Social Network released 'Click to Messenger' ads on Facebook last November, which enable businesses to include a button to start up a DM interaction direct from the ad post.
While bots are not the explicit focus, they are in reality - and now, Facebook's extending Click to Messenger ads to Instagram, which will re-direct users to Messenger interactions - not to Instagram's own messaging space.
And while it's an interesting ad offering in itself - again, enabling brands to connect Instagram users direct to their Messenger bots (something not available within Instagram messaging), boosting bot exposure - it also marks the latest effort from Facebook to further integrate their main social apps.
Just last month, Facebook also started testing a cross-app notification option in their main app which enables users to stay across all of their Facebook, Messenger and Instagram engagements in one place - and to switch to each within a click.
Facebook also started rolling out their combined Facebook/Instagram/Messenger inbox to Pages earlier this year, utilizing the reach of their combined network to further expand on possible options and make as easy as possible for businesses to utilize all three to best effect. Such efforts could have significant impacts, with a combined active audience in the billions, spending 50 minutes per day, on average, across the three platforms every day.
The focus on integrating Messenger, in particular, aligns with Facebook's wider push to transform the platform into a universal tool, while usage trends also suggest more people are looking for more direct, personalized engagements via social platforms.
According to Facebook, over 2 billion messages are sent between people and businesses every month, while there are also more than 100,000 active Messenger bots on the service. Bots haven't taken off just yet, but as we've noted previously, it could only take a few truly transformative bots to generate wider consciousness and appeal. The bot shift, while it may not have come as an avalanche, may still be significant over time.
But even if it doesn't, this new ad offering could be an interesting way to generate more direct engagement, helping to boost your contacts lists and deliver an improved, focused experience.
This new Instagram 'Click to Message' ads will start rolling out to businesses today and will be available to all within the next few months.