Tuesday, 22 May, 2018

Facebook's Messenger is helping brands dabble in AR

Facebook debuts Messenger AR and translation tools for businesses Facebook's virtual assistant M will soon do translations in Marketplace
| 02 May, 2018, 02:04

Blending AR effects and messaging solves a real problem for people shopping online.

With this launch, businesses large and small can leverage the Camera Effects Platform to easily integrate AR into their Messenger experience, bringing the virtual and physical worlds one step closer together.

The feature is launching in closed beta, and Facebook announced a handful of major brands using it: ASUS, Kia, Nike and Sephora.

Facebook Facebook says, a user will able to send a message on Facebook to look more closely at the features of an ASUS computer, see a new vehicle from Kia, get a "visual red carpet" experience with a new pair of sneakers from Nike, and try on Sephora makeup. Facebook plans to roll out the feature to other countries, with additional languages, sometime in the future. 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. Once a business interacts with a person on Messenger, the business can prompt the user to open the Facebook camera, which will be pre-populated with brand-specific filters and AR effects. Businesses that want to join the programme can sign up to the waiting list. Sephora, as you might expect, allows you to try out different looks and styles.


The other newly announced feature, M translations, is expected to reduce the language barrier in order to help businesses sell more goods and services. In other words, if users in Marketplace get a message that's in a language other than their default language, they'll be asked if they want that language translated.

M Suggestions now operate in 11 countries and are available in English, German, Spanish, French, and Thai. The AR creation tools are free to use, but Marcus adds that brands will tend to buy ads on Messenger and Facebook to drive consumers to experiences, thereby providing a path to monetization for Facebook.

In addition to augmented reality, Messenger is also introducing a new translation feature for its built-in (and now fully automated) assistant, M. Powered by the same tech that runs translations in News Feed, the feature will eventually be able to offer up real-time translations when you're chatting with someone who speaks another language. In two short years, we've seen the platform go from zero to where we are today, and we still feel like we're just getting started.

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