Facebook tries to lure more businesses to Messenger with AR, AI capabilities

Facebook tries to lure more businesses to Messenger with AR, AI capabilities

Facebook tries to lure more businesses to Messenger with AR, AI capabilities

Now when people connected through Marketplace receive a message in a language that is different from their default language in Messenger, M will ask them if they want to translate the message.

Yet on Messenger, efforts to work with businesses and brands are just getting started, Facebook said in a blog post announcing the new features. So, when a person interacts with your business in Messenger, you can prompt them to open the camera, which will be pre-populated with filters and AR effects that are specific to your brand.

All of these are pretty simple and depend on novelty as much as anything to be interesting, but Facebook messaging VP David Marcus told me Messenger's new features address what marketers need right now. At launch, translations from English to Spanish (and vice-versa) will be available in Marketplace conversations taking place in the US.

The feature is launching in closed beta, and Facebook announced a handful of major brands using it: ASUS, Kia, Nike and Sephora. The companies which created some of the first examples include Nike (virtual sneakers), Asus (a smartphone), Kia (a Stinger auto you can plunk in your own driveway), and Sephora (virtual makeup effects).

M translations will be rolled out to users in the U.S.in the coming weeks. Nike is using Messenger to drop a new pair of sneakers, giving people an exclusive sneak peek at them through a curated and visual red carpet experience.

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Perhaps the most important new feature is augmented reality in Messenger - and it could seriously bring AR to the masses.

Communication on Messenger is increasingly visual, Facebook continues to point out. Last month, the company announced it's adding support for 360 degree photos, panoramic photos, and HD video to Messenger.

Facebook is partnering with Sketchfab.

Maybe now's not the best time for Facebook to put an always-listening device into people's homes? The AR camera effects platform will also enable users to try out filters directly from their friends' Stories, so if they see something they haven't seen before, they can see who made it and follow the account. The app will also get a dark mode.

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