Facebook has made it easier for people to find companies through Messenger in a bid to extend how the instant messaging service can be used by businesses.
The social media firm has brought the usernames of business Pages to the forefront of the mobile app and web service by displaying the Page’s unique user name below its main title equipped with a Twitter-like @ symbol.
The Messenger app allows users to send messages to the business through the Page’s user name, rather than trying to find it in the main Facebook app then launching Messenger from there.
Facebook hopes that making the usernames more visible and usable in Messenger will encourage greater communication between companies and Facebook's billion-strong user base.
“Usernames help people find businesses on Facebook and Messenger so they can connect with and message the businesses they’re interested in more easily. Because each username is unique, they also help people to identify your exact business, even if you have a relatively common name,” Facebook said.
The change is incremental in the way Facebook can be used for external business purposes, but highlights a push to make the networking platform and Messenger more appealing as a form of communication between companies and individuals.
Using Messenger as a customer service tool could be a boon for savvy businesses, as Facebook users normally air complaints by commenting on public pages. Direct messaging can manage positive and negative customer service issues directly rather than under the scrutiny of a wider audience.
Facebook is expanding the use of Messenger into the Internet of Things, and adding more traditional services such as video chats, and appears to be pushing Messenger to become far more than a chat service.
Longer-term, Messenger will get an artificial intelligence virtual assistant dubbed M that combines Facebook’s machine learning research and development with human customer service.
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