Today at the company’s F8 event, Facebook unveiled its plans to make Messenger much more useful to its users. The social network announced Messenger Platform, which allows developers to integrate applications into the Messenger service.
Users will now easily be able to send GIFs, audio tracks, videos and more by simply downloading an add-on for Facebook Messenger through the designated Messenger store. For instance, if you’d like to send a GIF with Giphy, attach an image with Imgur or send personalized stickers with JibJab, you no longer have to go to each website to complete these actions. Just download each app and you’re all set.
Over 40 applications are already on-board with Messenger Platform, and there will obviously be many more added in the future. You’ll be able to find many of these add-ons from within the Messenger app. Additionally, if your friend sends you a message with an app that you don’t have installed yet, you’ll be able to easily download and install the add-on with a few clicks and respond accordingly. If you’d like to check out a full list of compatible applications so far, head to Facebook’s Messenger Platform Showcase.
Facebook didn’t just focus on add-ons at the F8 event, though. The social network also unveiled a service called Businesses on Messenger, which allows users to easily communicate with businesses through the Messenger app. After purchasing something from a website, users will be able to receive receipts, track/cancel orders, and even have a conversation with the business regarding the order. Of course, you don’t have to receive your updates through Messenger if a business supports it, but the option is now there if you’re interested.
Facebook will launch the new Businesses on Messenger feature with a number of different partners, but there’s no word yet as to when the service will be available to everyone. With all that said, if you have yet to download the Messenger app, now may be a good time to do so.