Facebook is adding support for Instagram to its Messenger API. That will allow brands and businesses to handle Instagram messages through third-party apps. For the first time, they’ll also be able to connect live customer service reps with common requests or inquiries they receive through Instagram.
Brands have been able to respond to customers on Messenger since 2016. Given that Facebook is tying its services’ messaging features more closely together, it makes sense that it’s extending those functions to Instagram too.
The API will let brands handle messages from various aspects of Instagram, such as Shops and Stories, in one place. They’ll also be able to integrate Instagram into their customer relationship management systems. That will, for instance, allow them to see a customer’s order history alongside messages from them.
Not every brand or business can get their hands on these tools just yet. The latest Messenger API is currently in closed beta. Adidas, Amaro, Glossier, H&M, MagazineLuiza, Michael Kors, Nars, Sephora and TechStyle Fashion Group are among the brands that are trying it out.
Update (7:37 PM ET): Facebook reached out to clarify that while this API includes automated responses for simple questions, it requires live support for all experiences. The post has been updated to reflect this.