Facebook is introducing one of its most asked-for features for businesses

Elizabeth Barry 15 November 2017

small business owner

The new plugin will help businesses engage with customers without leaving the business's website.

Facebook has announced that a highly requested feature will be a part of its release of Messenger 2.2. The feature, a customer chat plugin, will "extend Messenger experiences onto a business's website" according to Facebook's blog, essentially allowing businesses to chat with customers using Messenger without leaving their site.

"With customer chat plugin, people can chat with businesses on their websites and in Messenger (across web, mobile or tablet) and transition back and forth seamlessly without losing the conversation’s history and context. This makes it easier for customers to continue the conversation with a business whenever and wherever it’s most convenient for them," Facebook's announcement read on its blog.

The plugin is currently available in beta but you can apply to the waitlist here to be notified when the plugin becomes widely available.

The beta partners are launching the new feature this week. Beta partners include Adore Me, Air France, Argos, Aviva (Eurofil), Bodeaz, Elves, Goibibo, Keto-Mojo, KLM, Mermaid Pillow, Spoqa, Total Activation, Volaris and Zalando.

Facebook said the update to its Messenger Platform was developed in response to the feedback from its developer community. Other updates to Messenger include allowing businesses to attach a call-to-action button when sending videos, images and gifs and making it easier to view people's feedback to improve their Messenger experience with the page-level feedback feature.

With some small business owners finding it difficult to keep up with the pace of technological change, a simple plugin such as this is a win for small businesses. It allows them to offer a seamless customer service experience in a way that customers are familiar with – through Facebook.

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