Facebook says business users can now create adverts that click through to its Messenger application – a commercial offering designed to drive potential prospects into conversation with advertisers.
The new feature is the latest move by the social media and advertising behemoth to boost its enterprise offering. It follows a decision last year to open up a Whatsapp API for businesses for the first time.
Read this: WhatsApp Opens up API, To Charge Business Users
Facebook says the new feature, available through Facebook Ads Manager, will integrate with existing CRM tools to help sales teams track leads.
In a post on the company’s developer blog, Facebook said that since the beta launch of the feature earlier this year, “businesses like UK-based professional services firm RIFT Tax have seen meaningful results”, adding that the company saw an 18 percent higher lead resolve rate through Messenger versus over the phone.
Facebook Messenger Advertising: Range of New Features Revealed
It has also showcased a beta release of a feature that allows businesses to accept real-time appointment booking through Messenger.
The company said: “This solution enables businesses to integrate their existing calendar booking software to power booking experiences through Messenger. With this feature, businesses can convert Messenger conversations into in-store traffic, online and phone appointments, and more. The new feature will be rolled out to businesses and developers globally later this year.”
Facebook Numbers Breach
Less positive for the company: over 18 million British Facebook user’s phone numbers have been exposed via an unprotected database — the content of which appears to have been scraped from Facebook by a third-party, then left unsecured on the internet.
The database held a massive 419 million Facebook user’s phone numbers.
It was spotted by security researcher Sanyam Jain, who contacted TechCrunch after failing to identify the database’s owner. He told the website‘s Zack Whittaker that the batch included numerous celebrities’ phone numbers.
It has since been pulled offline after TechCrunch notified the web host.
Facebook disabled the API that shares users’ mobile phone and address details with developers in 2011. It removed the ability of users to find others using their phone numbers last year. Facebook spokesperson Jay Nancarrow said: “This data set is old and appears to have information obtained before we made changes last year to remove people’s ability to find others using their phone numbers.
He added: “The data set has been taken down and we have seen no evidence that Facebook accounts were compromised.”