Facebook messenger has been busy the last couple of years. In 2016, Messenger received a brand-new camera that came with a heap of effects and features. The camera was quickly followed by group video chat capabilities.
In January of 2017, David Marcus—Vice President of Messaging Products at Facebook—announced four upcoming changes to Messenger:
- Features that focus on recreating in-person interactions from anywhere in the world
- Continued improvements in visual communication and camera features
- Enhancing Messenger’s functionality as a global directory
- Providing opportunities for developers and businesses to succeed
Now it’s Messenger Broadcast that’s stealing the latest headlines for Facebook. Details are mostly observational at this point, as Facebook hasn’t released official functions connected to the prototype.
What We Know About Facebook Messenger Broadcast
Matt Navarra was the first to share a screenshot of Messenger Broadcast on Twitter. It appears that the prototype was developed by Facebook as a way for businesses to send mass messages.
Some of the capabilities of Messenger Broadcast include the option for businesses to design a custom welcome message, along with a message title and subtitle. The best part? Businesses can include a call to action button that leads to their website, sales page, landing page, or any other link of their choosing:
According to Facebook, “the Messenger Platform’s Broadcast API is built on a new infrastructure that allows you to broadcast to everyone that currently has an open conversation with your Page or a custom set of people.”
Facebook also noted the following elements:
- Messages sent in the Broadcast API cannot be promotional
- Messages sent in Broadcast will not appear in the Page inbox
- Only the message recipient will be able to see the Broadcast message
Possibilities for Messenger Broadcast
Facebook Messenger reaches more than 1.3 billion Facebook users, so it’s no surprise that the social media giant wants to find new ways they can monetize the app. Messenger Broadcast certainly has the potential to introduce new revenue streams if Facebook offers businesses a way to pay for higher reach.
While the marketing possibilities are promising, they could also be limited because a Broadcast message can only be sent to users that initiate the conversation. That means a lot of businesses will be encouraging their prospects, leads, and customers to contact them on Messenger.
One thing Facebook is undoubtedly considering is the possibility of over-marketing occurring in Messenger, which could begin to siphon off users. However, the social platform successfully introduced display ads to the Messenger inbox over the summer without incurring the wrath of users. In addition, sponsored ads in Messenger have been around since April of 2016.
The timing for introducing Messenger Broadcast to the world—and out of beta mode—will certainly answer a lot of questions. As part of their policy, Facebook officials remain tight-lipped on providing more details until internal testing concludes. There’s a chance Facebook won’t release Messenger Broadcast to the public for testing, so, for now, we’ll just have to make due with a glimpse of the prototype.