Facebook has introduced a stream of updates including a News Tab, Business Inbox in Messenger, and has also been testing new features.
Facebook Updates also includes integration of Messenger with Instagram, currently in the prototype phase.
Facebook News Tab
Facebook is introducing a dedicated News Tab in the app showing personalized news stories from various categories, the feature is live in the US.
The main categories are:
- General News from publications that publish a range of topics
- Diverse News focussed on communities from racial and ethnic groups
- Topical News from publishers specializing in a particular theme such as business, science, or sports
- Local News from native publishers that meet the integrity criteria
News Publishers must meet the platform’s guidelines, abide by their integrity standards, and serve a ‘sufficiently large audience’, the size is defined for each of the categories. Publishers can sign up through the News Page Index.
Personalization of News Stories shown to a user is defined on the basis of what they engage with, their interests, and past interest in news stories, topics, and publishers. They also have control over their experience by hiding publishers or topics they don’t want to see.
Facebook News also includes news stories selected by a team of journalists hired by Facebook, to give you an overview of news published across a variety of subjects such as politics, entertainment, and more.
Also Read: A look at all new apps launched by Facebook
Business Inbox in Messenger
Business Inbox in Messenger will give users an option to respond to customer messages and toggle between their personal account, from within the Messenger app.
The new feature is designed to make it convenient for them to easily respond to customer queries such as availability of a product, options for customization, and more. Since customers appreciate an immediate response, the feature will make businesses more accessible.
They have the option to receive notifications in the Messenger app to remind them to get back to customers in a timely manner. The feature is rolling out in the Messenger app on iOS and will be coming to Android soon.
Facebook is introducing Wikipedia Snippets to its Search Results. The tab is exactly the same as what Google has been showing for a while.
For instance, if you search a person’s name, a brief extract of their information available on Wikipedia such as birth date, profession, and more will be shown on a tab beside the Search Results. The feature could still be in the testing phase or has been rolled out selectively.
Integration Of Messenger with Instagram
Facebook has been testing integrating Messenger inbox within Instagram. Few versions of this feature have been spotted to being tested such as ‘Get Messenger in Instagram’ and ‘Get New Features(with a Messenger icon).
Instagram has confirmed the tests and mentioned that they are working on integrating messaging services across their apps. The test is an early prototype and is not being tested externally.
This could also mean an integration of all their messaging services on each app. For instance, an option to reply to an Instagram DM from the messenger app, vice versa, and similarly across other apps owned by Facebook.