Meta’s announced some new A.I.-based advertising options for Messenger, which it hopes will help brands tap into the rising use of private messages, as opposed to social platform posting, in order to boost active engagement.

First off, Meta’s testing out a new A.I. Q and A feature, based on the most popular questions that businesses receive on Messenger, in order to help streamline the query process.

Meta messaging AI update

As you can see in this example, the new feature provides custom, automated responses to common queries, with Meta aiming to make the bot feel more active and human in its replies.

That could help to save time in engagement, and drive more orders, with less human intervention. There will be limits to this, of course, and questions that the system cannot adequately answer, but the response engine is trained on Meta’s Llama 3 A.I. system, and should be able to cover a broader range of queries than previous bot tools.

Which Meta itself has tried out in the past.

While this new system is more advanced, it’s essentially the same offering that Meta originally launched in 2016, with its Messenger Bots platform.

Messenger Bots platform

The concern here is that no one cared about Messenger bots back then, despite Meta proclaiming them as a significant advance, with most users preferring to speak to a human, or shop in-store instead, as opposed to engaging with a robot in their D.M.s.

So will it be any different this time around?

I mean, maybe. Maybe, with more advanced A.I. more people will at least feel like they’re interacting with a human, and maybe that will be enough to keep them engaged and connected via this process.

But it remains to be seen. So while there are clear efficiency benefits if this does work out, I would be slightly skeptical about people being super interested in engaging with bots, no matter how smart they’ve become.

Meta’s also launching a new messaging promotion option, which will enable marketers to create, organize and send paid marketing messages on Messenger, via Ads Manager, to people who have opted-in to hearing from them.

Meta messaging AI update

As you can see in this sequence, brands will soon be able to send promotional messages to Messenger users who’ve agreed to receive them, providing more opportunities for ongoing engagement.

And that’s not all:

“This follows an update from our recent Conversations event, where we announced businesses using Ads Manager to send marketing messages on WhatsApp will have the option to provide Meta with their subscriber list and our A.I. systems will recommend the right subset of recipients based on the outcomes they care about the most – like helping turn a lead into a conversion or generating awareness for a new product. We hope to bring these capabilities to Messenger in the future as well.

So you’ll also have more opportunity to utilize A.I. targeting to reach the right audiences with your messages, which could drive more conversion and engagement.

Though again, it is still similar to Meta’s previous business messaging offerings, and consumers haven’t always been as excited about getting D.M.s from brands as Meta would have hoped.

So what’s different this time around?

Well, with more and more engagement shifting to private messages, Meta’s hoping to help brands tap into that element, and reach customers where they’re most active.

The question is, does more messaging activity mean that people are more open to promotions in their inbox as well?

Seems that we’re going to find out, with Meta opening up new D.M. outreach to all brands.

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