Facebook rolls out helpful tools for marketers

Data experts at the social media outfit are shifting their focus to businesses—and brand managers. Here are details on its latest messaging and developer tools.

Facebook made several noteworthy announcements at its f8 conference, and some of them have significant implications for brands.

Perhaps the most significant of those announcements was the introduction of “chatbots” to the company’s Messenger app. These bots will allow users to “chat” with brands that tap into the artificial intelligence. It will act as a customer service tool as well as a channel for buying goods and services.

“We think you should message a business just the way you would message a friend,” Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the f8 crowd.

There are six Messenger chat bots available—more are expected to become available in the coming months. Facebook is opening the technology so developers and brand managers can customize the app to fit their customers’ needs.

Facebook also announced several new developer tools that will give deeper insights into mobile application users.

Marketers can now get more anonymous insights into their app users without those users being logged into Facebook. These insights will provide information on “likes,” interests, education, job titles and more. Marketers can take those insights and turn them into targeting criteria for ads.

For example, if you see an insight that suggests a large number of your app users like “The Daily Show,” you can target your ads to others who like the show but haven’t yet downloaded your brand’s app.

Social media managers that post content marketing pieces will have access to a new plugin for Web and mobile sites that highlights a quote from an article and put it into a News Feed story.

If a site has the feature, a Facebook icon will pop up when users highlight a particular quote, making it easier to share.

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