Facebook Messenger will soon come with another new interesting feature for its users. Passengers of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will soon be able to get flight updates, check in, talk to customer service representatives, and make travel changes directly from the Messenger chat app. Also the KLM airline, which is used by 800 million people around the world, is the first airline to do this.
Facebook Messenger getting popular among businesses
KLM is the first major European partner for Messenger. Tjalling Smit, senior vice president of digital for Air France KLM, says with the use of Messenger, the airline has grabbed an opportunity to reach passengers on one of the most popular apps. This popularity of the app made his team members decide that they had to turn to a third-party platform like Messenger to reach their customers.
Facebook launched Messenger for Business one year ago to make commerce “conversational,” a notion that users will soon be able to communicate and make transactions with businesses over messaging apps. Businesses, including hotel chain Hyatt and retailers Everlane and Wal-Mart, have tried out the service to contact their customers.
“You have so many different channels to communicate with services and businesses and all of those things are imperfect, but they all bring something. What we have been able to do is bring the best of each of these methods inside one conversation that happens in Messenger,” David Marcus, Facebook’s vice president for messaging products, told USA TODAY.
Inspired by Asian rivals
In 2011, Messenger began as a simple app to send messages on Facebook, but the social media giant made it an independent app in 2014. Facebook seems to have been inspired by Asian messaging services such as KakaoTalk, WeChat, and Line.
These applications help users do basic things such as schedule doctor’s appointments, hail cabs, shop for shoes, play games, send money to friends, book restaurant reservations, shop for clothes and call other users.
According to technology and strategy consulting firm Activate, around 2.5 billion people have registered to use at least one messaging app, and by 2018, this number could increase to 3.6 billion.
Activate’s founder, Michael Wolf ,says, “Messaging will be the most widespread digital behavior.”