Facebook Announces AR Integrations on Messenger for Business

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By Published On: May 4, 20180 Comments

Facebook’s VP of Messaging Products, David Marcus announced AR integrations for businesses using Facebook messenger as a sales tool, will soon be a reality at the recent Facebook Developer Conference 2018 (F8 2018).

According to Marcus, eight billion messages are exchanged between people and businesses each month, a number that’s four times what it was this time last year. Because of the application’s popularity, Facebook set out to expand the technology’s business capabilities to help brands better communicate and interact with their consumers.

At day two of F8 2018, Marcus announced that this expansion will allow businesses to incorporate augmented reality into their Messenger experiences.

“With this launch, businesses large and small can leverage the Camera Effects Platform to easily integrate AR into their Messenger experience, bringing the virtual and physical worlds one step closer together,” he said.

“When a person interacts with your business in Messenger, you can prompt them to open the camera, which will be pre-populated with filters and AR effects that are specific to your brand.”

Consumers will reportedly be able to share these images and videos in a story, Facebook group, one-on-one conversation, or save it to their camera roll.

Marcus believes this new capability will help brands sell more products online by utilising the Messenger app.

“There are so many situations where we need to visualise a product before we feel comfortable buying it. We often seek input from our friends and family before making a purchase. This feature — launching in closed beta — leverages the nature of messaging to help people get valuable, instant feedback about purchases, customisations, and more, without ever needing to set foot in a store,” Marcus said.

A number of high-profile brands, including the likes of Nike and Sephora will be among the first businesses to launch AR effects for their Messenger experiences. For Sephora, this will entail dropping a selection of makeup looks for consumers to try on and share, while Nike will be giving users an exclusive sneak peek at a new pair of sneakers through a red carpet experience.

Facebook Messenger’s new AR feature is being released as the latest addition to the Facebook AR Studio. While this feature is yet to be rolled out on a large-scale, retailers can sign-up for the beta waitlist and be notified when it is more broadly available.

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Heather Bone