Facebook Enhances Work Chat

Facebook today rolled out two new features to its Messenger chat application, Message Reactions and Mentions, aimed at making group conversations more useful and fun. While built for Messenger, these features are also now available for the Work Chat messaging app in Facebook's enterprise team collaboration app, Workplace, which shares a common infrastructure with Messenger.

Message Reactions allow users to react to an individual message with an emotion, "quickly showing acknowledgement or expressing how you feel in a lightweight way," Drew Moxon, product manager of Facebook Messenger, wrote in a corporate blog post. As an example, if someone messages a picture of a beautiful sunset, a user could respond with a love reaction. Putting this in a business context, if someone messages trying to coordinate a meeting, a user could respond with a yes or no reaction to express his or her preferences.

Reactions are simple to add to a message stream. When they want to react, users simply press and hold a message to receive a menu of emoji options -- love, smile, wow, sad, yes, or no. Regular Facebook users will recognize that these Messenger Reactions are the same reactions they are able to use on their newsfeeds when reacting to posts from acquaintances -- only now they're able to react within a message thread. In Work Chat, users will see reactions in the lower corner of the message along with a number that signifies how many people have reacted to the message.

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Mentions allow users to directly notify someone when they've been mentioned in a conversation. Users just need to type the "@" symbol, and then a person's name, which will generate a list of users to select from. Looking at the same business example I used above, if one group member doesn't respond with that thumbs-up or thumbs-down reaction to indicate his or her availability, the meeting organizer could @mention that person. The "laggard" will receive a notification to look at the chat and respond so the organizer can get the meeting on the books.

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Both these features will begin rolling out today, with global availability in the coming days for both Facebook Messenger and Work Chat in Workplace.

According to data from Statista, in July 2016, the number of Facebook Messenger monthly active users reached 1 billion worldwide -- a number that has surely continued to grow over the eight months that have followed. While Facebook Messenger has been steadily working its way into the enterprise for use in customer interactions, the enhancements to Work Chat in Workplace will surely only help in the company's efforts to gain enterprise adoption.

With Enterprise Connect kicking off on Monday, March 27, we will be diving into team collaboration and next-generation messaging in full force. Take a look at our Next-Gen Messaging & Team Collaboration track program content, and be sure to mark your calendars for must-attend sessions like the Wednesday main stage session, "Messaging & Team Collaboration: Overhyped or the Next Platform?" If you haven't yet registered for Enterprise Connect, no worries -- there's still time, and we even still have a discount for you. Register today using the code NOJITTER to receive $300 off an Entire Event or Tue-Thu Conference pass, or a free Expo Plus pass.

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