Facebook opens up Messenger to brands as it announces new scannable ‘Messenger Codes’
Facebook has opened up its Messenger platform by announcing Messenger Codes, which allow brands to display codes that can then be scanned by users in order to start up an instant conversation via the one-on-one messenger platform.
Facebook’s Messenger platform, which now has more than 900 million active monthly users, is set to launch three new tools; Messenger Codes, Messenger Usernames and Messenger Links.
Codes work so that all Facebook users have to do is scan a particular code to start a conversation on the Messenger platform. Facebook hopes it will eradicate the effort of having to ask for someone’s mobile number or add somebody as a friend before starting a chat.
In particular, Facebook is excited about the impact Codes will have on brands. A brand, for example, could include a code image in one of their campaigns. Should a consumer then scan the code, they will then be linked through to directly message the brand on Facebook Messenger. This, Facebook hopes, will make the platform a defining customer service tool should a consumer have a query for a brand.
The codes, which comprise of a series of dots and dashes under a user’s profile picture, share stark similarities with rival Snapchat’s snapcodes. Burberry recently became the first brand to use a ‘Snapcode’ on Snapchat for a marketing campaign as it looks to give visitors in its stores access to exclusive content.
READ MORE: Facebook urges brands to ‘catch up’ in mobile
Facebook said in a blog post: “We’ve taken special care to make Messenger Codes as beautifully designed as possible so you can use them everywhere – on business cards, online, or in-store and anywhere else you like.
“We can’t wait to see how businesses embrace these new tools.”
Facebook is also set to roll out Messenger Links and Usernames. In particular, Facebook says the unique usernames will eradicate the issue of users who share the same name as it means that each user can have a unique username that can be searched for on messenger.
The blog post explained: “Messenger Links and Usernames are your very own personalized links that you can share anywhere online – from your email signature to a website – so people can reach you quickly on Messenger.
“You can send your Messenger Link directly to your contacts or friends. Tap or click any Messenger Link to open Messenger directly to a thread with that person or business. We are all unique human beings but sometimes we share the same name!
“This can make it hard to know you are contacting the right person when searching for them in Messenger. Now, it’s simple to find someone by their very own unique username. You can find and share your username from your Settings tab.”
Over recent years, Facebook has made no secret of its plans to open up Messenger and its 900 million active users to marketers.
In an interview with Marketing Week last year, Facebook’s head of ad tech Dave Jakubowski said: “We’re also learning more about how brand marketing can work on Facebook Messenger. It could be a customer service tool, for example, or for storytelling. We are nearly there on working things out with Messenger and that excites me.”
There isn’t a concrete release date for Messenger Codes, Messenger Usernames and Messenger Links yet. However, Facebook’s VP of messaging products David Marcus stated: “It will all be rolling out gradually but it shouldn’t be too long.”