Facebook’s August 15 Update- will it affect my business?
Yesterday, Facebook announced that it’s intention to speed up Messenger by taking out a few features. In this post, you can see the purged list, and find out whether it’ll make too much of a difference for your business.
They started the statement with some background on their journey so far:
“2018 was a big year for Messenger. Our product teams launched some awesome features that made people happy. Notably, we closed out the year by launching the all-new Messenger 4 after introducing it at F8 2018, which was much simpler, easier to navigate while remaining just as powerful. Beyond that, we made a ton of improvements people had been asking for – vast advancements to our reporting tools, making voice and video quality experiences higher quality and more robust. We made beloved features like Groups easier to use and more intuitive, improved people to business connections through enhanced developer tools, and expanded Messenger Kids beyond the US. We also launched two of the most highly anticipated features with dark mode‘s sleek look that goes easy on the eyes, and message replies, which lets users respond to a specific message in a chat
However, it’s clear that 2019 will be a transition year for Messenger, and for messaging as we proceed to build an app that realizes a privacy-focused vision for social networking. The idea being, that if we were to start to build a social network today, we’d start with messaging first.
To do this well, Messenger is starting with the fundamentals. We are working to be world class for our community for the primary things that people expect in a messaging app. We will make Messenger fast, private, interoperable and a space for close friends and family. This meant we had to look at what people really want and expect from a messaging app – they simply want it to work. They want it fast, they want it lightweight so they can download it in any conditions and on any device, and they want it reliable.
Project LightSpeed: Lighter, Faster Messenger”
They then point out their goals for the future:
“I’m thrilled to announce that later this year, we will begin to roll out a project we’re calling internally “LightSpeed.” LightSpeed will launch well under 2 seconds, and be less than 30MB to install – that’s 70MB lighter than the current version of Messenger! LightSpeed was completely rebuilt from the ground up on an entirely new code base, so this will take time to roll out, but it will be worth the wait.”
After explaining the goal, they then delve lightly into how they plan on doing it. Some of these features weren’t mentioned, but after some digging I’ve found out the following will change:
Things that are gone
This one is a shame because the feature was interesting, and a great concept for businesses wanting to branch out or network. However, phones can all scan QR codes, so it may not be as hard to adjust as you might think.
In-app page sharing
This won’t be a huge difference for many, as people will just send links to each other.
Sharing to Messenger from elsewhere
This again has a workaround. People can make changes to their app to trigger native OS sharing, which would allow people to share content to Messenger using the native sharing feature built into their device.
Sharing Streaming Music
Facebook themselves said on this:
“Starting August 15, 2019, updated versions of the Messenger app will no longer support Open Graph Template. As a fallback, a generic template which links to the URL will be rendered. When a user clicks on the song that is shared in Messenger, the user will be directed to the audio streaming platform’s website or app.”
Not exactly platform-breaking either.
Vertical lists on chatbots will no longer be supported. Not exactly in its place but a fair replacement, we think horizontally scrollable carousels are just as effective. After the update goes live, this will automatically happen anyway, so there isn’t anything you’ll need to do.
Nested menus will cease to exist after August 15th. This won’t really have a replacement, so single menus are probably the best thing to do in its absence. Again, this will happen automatically after the update goes live anyway.
Things that are new
Friends & family space
Part of Facebook’s announcement included this:
“We’re excited to announce that we’re going to be rolling out a dedicate space for you to easily find content from the friends and family you message most. Content from Stories to images and videos you share with each other, along with other features we’re building right now.”
We don’t know exactly what this will look like yet, and we’re not sure if Facebook do either. It’s still in development, so what exactly this will mean for businesses is unknown. Our guess is that it won’t affect ads, but we’re not sure about whether Chatbots will be affected.
This isn’t one that will change much. The Messenger app will have a “group viewing” chat, but that won’t change anything for businesses.
IOS & Windows Messenger app
Their statement touches on a new app for desktop:
“People want to seamlessly message from any device, and sometimes they just want a little more space to share and connect with the people they care about most. You can download Messenger Desktop — and enjoy the same features as the app on your phone — like group video calls, collaborate on projects or multi-task while chatting in Messenger. We are testing this now and will roll it out globally later this year.”
From this description, it doesn’t sound like much will change on this front either.
If you’re worried about the changes, don’t be. If you have a Chatbot, some things may need to be changed, but it’s a positive change for users!