Facebook Adds Air Travel Services to Messenger With KLM Partnership
In Facebook’s (FB – Get Report) latest effort to make Messenger an essential platform, the social network has partnered with Dutch airline KLM to let users handle the entire flight travel process directly in Messenger.
KLM passengers can now receive their itinerary, flight updates, check-in notifications and boarding passes directly within Messenger. They can also rebook flights when needed and communicate with the airline.
“This is one that I’ve been personally eager to solve for a while,” Facebook’s head of Messenger David Marcus wrote in a Facebook post. “Removing stress, and complication from air travel.”
The new integration is just the most recent in a growing list of various actions users can take within Messenger. For instance, you can already order an Uber or Lyft straight from Messenger.
Facebook has been particularly focused on commerce capabilities within Messenger, allowing retailers such as Everlane and Zulily to communicate with customers within the platform and send receipts and shipping updates.
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Plus, not yet released features are hidden in Messenger’s code that hint at even more possible commerce functionality, such as letting users make purchases in physical stores using Messenger, similar to Apple (AAPL – Get Report) Pay or Google’s (GOOG – Get Report) (GOOGL – Get Report) Android Pay.
The code also includes a feature that would surface “suggested businesses” that users could click on to chat with. One could easily see this becoming an area where retailers could pay to be promoted, similar to being promoted on the News Feed.
On top of that, TechCrunch recently reported that Facebook is developing a software development kit — a set of tools to help developers build applications for a specific platform — that would let retailers build bots to interact with Messenger users and enable shopping. Essentially, retailers will be able to create their own version of M, Messenger’s digital assistant.
“I really see Messenger as a new type of medium when it comes to commerce,” said Yoram Wurmser, an analyst at Forrester. “It’s a different experience –much more conversational.”