Facebook has announced a new set of sponsors Messenger chat themes, as well as a new quick reply bar for shared images, and QR and payment links that make it easier to request and send money within your message threads.
First, on the new themes – as we reported yesterday, Facebook has added a new Messenger theme for the latest movie in the ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise, which may indicate upcoming theme events in the app. Facebook has now added to this, with additional themes by Olivia Rodrigo, to celebrate the launch of her new album Acid, as well as a ‘World Oceans Day’ theme.
Facebook has not yet made it an official advertising offering, but the expansion of its custom themes, coupled with film and music launches, may indicate that it will become a new event in the future. This is likely to be a more advanced approach to brand promotion, but it could help increase engagement around such releases and build hype within the app.
To test the new themes, select a conversation, navigate to its settings, and click ‘Theme’.
In addition to this, Facebook has added a new Quick reply option if you see media in a message thread.
As you can see here, users will now be able to add a reply to a shared image by replying below the image itself when they are in view mode.
Previously, if a friend sent you a video and you clicked to watch it, the video would be extended to your entire screen and you would have to leave the media view to respond to it. The update will streamline the connection, which could help bring about more engagement.
And lastly, Facebook has also added new QR codes and payment switching options in Messenger to make fund transfers within the app better possible.
The most important addition here is that the process will enable users to make money after, or request money from anyone in the app, even if you are not yet connected to it.
As explained by Messenger:
‘There is no need to download a separate payment application or add new contacts right away! Visit your Messenger settings and tap “Facebook Pay” to access your personal QR code and payment link. Simply share the payment link or allow your friends to scan your QR code to send or request money. ”
With the update, Messenger users do not have to download or use other apps to make payments, which can help give Facebook a competitive advantage to facilitate more transactions. Facebook is working to make Messenger a more useful application and with the ability to make payments upstream, which can help the company add more business transaction tools and other processes to improve its usefulness.
These are some interesting updates, and although the chat themes have been around for a while, and that streamlined responses to images are not revolutionary, they all contribute to the broader picture in the app and build on its capacity, especially for promotions and transactions.
You can read more about the latest Messenger updates here.