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Instagram Rolls Out New Messenger API for Businesses


By Monique Thomas

Published June 2, 2021

4 minute read

Good news for business owners: Instagram’s Messenger API will be rolling out to all businesses!

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Good news for business owners: Instagram’s Messenger API will be rolling out to all businesses!

What does this mean? With a new Messenger API for Instagram, businesses will be able to streamline their customer service tools, be more efficient, and build trust with their community.

We’re diving into the details — shared at Facebook’s F8 Refresh conference — of what the Instagram Messenger API is, who has access, and the benefits of using it for your brand.

What Is the New Instagram Messenger API?

Initially a beta test for megabrands like H&M and L’Oreal, the API lets businesses access Instagram’s messaging tools and integrate them with their existing systems.

This is a game-changer for businesses. According to Facebook’s VP of Business Messaging, Emile Litvak: “Our vision is to make business messaging the primary way people and businesses communicate.”

In fact, a global survey found that 75% of people want to be able to message a business and 64% prefer messaging over email or the phone.

via F8 Refresh Conference

As Instagram users turn to Messenger to communicate with businesses — whether it’s to ask a question or complain — it’s important for brands to include messenger tools in their overall customer support strategy.

Did you know: Later is an official Instagram partner, meaning you can plan and schedule your posts, collect photos, and track your performance via the app!

Who Has Access to the New Instagram Messenger API?

Facebook says that the API is “intended for Instagram Businesses who need to manage their Instagram DMs at scale.”

That said, developers can access the feature beginning today, with business accounts to follow.

via TechCrunch

Here’s the expected phased global rollout:

  • Phase 1 (current): Instagram accounts with more than 10K followers and less than 100K followers will be able to connect to the API.

  • Phase 2 (July 2021): Instagram accounts with between 1K and 100K followers will be able to connect to the API.

  • Phase 3 (end of Q3): Remaining accounts will be able to connect to the API.

We’ll keep you posted for further updates! In the meantime, check out the Facebook for Developers page for more details.

3 Reasons Brands Should Use the Instagram Messenger API

During F8 Refresh, Facebook’s Director of Product Marketing, Ankur Prasad shared that 90% of people follow at least one business on Instagram.

With this in mind, leveraging all of Instagram’s tools to help sell your products, engage with customers, and grow your brand is a great idea.

And the new Instagram Messenger API will let you do all this (and more!).

via F8 Refresh Conference

Here’s three reasons you should consider using the API feature for your business:

Benefit #1: It’ll Help You Be More Efficient

Assuming you mainly use Facebook and Instagram for customer support and interactions, this new API will let you manage all communications in one place.

This way, you can be more responsive on your channels, engage with your customers in real-time, and streamline your workflows.

Take Hismile, a teeth whitening company. After partnering with Kustomer (a customer service CRM platform) and implementing the Messenger API for Instagram, they reported:

  • A 55% decrease in average response time

  • 8 hours saved per day on customer support

Benefit #2: It’ll Help You Build Trust and Loyalty

With the Instagram Messenger API, you can create automated replies to make it easier to communicate with current (and potential customers).

You can even transition your workflow from an automated bot to a live agent — further humanizing your brand.

Responding quickly to DMs with a personal touch can help build relationships with your community.

And once that trust is built, you can turn followers into customers, and customers into advocates.

Benefit #3: It’ll Help You Make Sales

Did you know you can make sales via messaging tools?

After integrating the new API, luxury beauty brand, Kiehl’s reported huge results:

  • 30% increase in qualified leads compared to other channels

  • 20% conversion rate from consultation to sales

By responding to FAQs and making product recommendations in DMs, you can drive traffic directly to your site — creating an easy shopping experience for your community.

While the Messenger API for Instagram is an advanced feature, it’s worth considering it as your business grows.

Scaling customer support and communications is no easy feat, but integrating messaging tools can be a great way to drive traffic to your site, answer customer questions, and connect with your community.

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