Facebook tests e-tail chat plug-in for Messenger

Although the social commerce revolution has not come to pass yet, the various media have turned out to be valuable tools for e-tailers, driving traffic and engagement. It is only logical then for Facebook to be testing a Messenger app plug-in with e-commerce sites, designed to allow them to automatically start chat sessions with their online customers.

Bodeaz was among the first to implement the new Messenger plug-in - DR

Facebook's corporate website is offering businesses the chance to register for advance notification of the new tool's availability. The plug-in shows up on e-tail sites as a chat window similar to the one featured by Facebook, and operates through a Facebook session already active on the device in question. The plug-in first of all asks for the customer's authorisation, and users are then able to access the chat off the vendor website, on their Facebook page or app.

The plug-in is being deployed discreetly. US fitness website Bodeaz was one of the first to register to use the new Facebook plug-in, in order to leverage a customer engagement area which has been exploited for some time by a host of start-ups.

"In some cases, using Messenger has increased [user] satisfaction with customer service by 80%," said Messenger boss David Marcus on 9th November, speaking at a conference at Station F, the Parisian start-up campus created by Xavier Niel. In his talk, Marcus confirmed that the new plug-in will be the main addition in Messenger's next release. "It is now also possible to make mobile payments directly via Messenger," he said.

Last September, Facebook stated that its messenger app is now used by 1.3 billion people worldwide. Facebook itself topped the 2 billion active users mark worldwide last June, and in 2016 the Facebook group generated a revenue of $27.67 billion, its profits reaching the sum of $10.2 billion.

Translated by Nicola Mira

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