Since we launched the Messenger Platform less than six months ago, millions of people in over 200 countries have been engaging with businesses on Messenger each day in new and exciting ways — from better customer service, to more sophisticated brand and commerce experiences, and receiving news from trusted sources.

Developers and businesses have built over 30,000 bots for Messenger, we’ve onboarded over 34,000 developers, and we’ve just recently updated our Platform Policy to improve engagement and retention for interactions between people and businesses on Messenger. It’s still early days but we have had great feedback from the developer community about the success of many of the experiences they’ve launched. We believe the potential for the Messenger Platform is huge, and we continue to invest in making it better for developers to build and create.

Beyond the promise of the developer Platform, we’re now actively building capabilities for brands and businesses to be discovered on Messenger. This month, we’ve begun to roll out Messenger as a destination for News Feed ads. When advertisers select Messenger as a destination for News Feed ads, they can use any call-to-action in their ad, such as “Shop Now” or “Learn more” to link to Messenger. All clicks on those News Feed ads will directly open up a Messenger thread.

Our belief in the potential for Messenger for businesses and developers is why we’re excited to also announce that we’re launching Messenger Platform v1.2, an incremental but significant update that offers more ways to drive engagement, build retention and facilitate meaningful relationships with people.

More Seamless
With this update, we’re giving developers and businesses the ability to bring more UI elements inside the threads they have with their customers and users. Because while some interactions are better in a conversational format (like quick responses or intent capture), and some things are better suited for a permanent thread (like receipts, shipping notifications and flight updates), some experiences are truly better with a full-fledged UI. Developers can get more details here about this enhanced Messenger mobile web view experience here.

Moving forward, we are also simplifying the payment and checkout experience in order to reduce the overall friction between wanting something and getting it. People can use their payment information already stored on Messenger and Facebook to check out faster in Messenger threads. You’ll see us rolling out a few new commerce and payments experiences, including:

More Ways to Buy
We’re kicking off the beginning of messages with payments that will allow businesses to sell products and services directly to customers in Messenger. Customers can check out with a few easy clicks, without ever leaving the Messenger app. Merchants will be able to onboard with a simple self-serve onboarding flow. Developers can get more details here. Messages with payments — as well as payments through the enhanced Messenger mobile web view — will be available for some developers as a closed beta. Businesses and developers can apply to be included in this beta while we’re working to roll out this capability more broadly.

More Ways to Share
We’ve heard that people want easier ways to share the experiences they love in Messenger. So starting today, we’re making it easier to share bots they discover. People can share individual messages with their friends by simply clicking on a share icon attached to a message bubble. This will be great for sharing products or various options with friends and asking for their opinion. Also they can share the bots that they love directly. Friends will receive a message with the bot name, icon and button that allows them to directly start a thread with that particular bot.

More Context
We also learned that sometimes people are unsure of how to kick off an interaction with business and services on Messenger. The updated Platform now includes a welcome screen that provides people with more information about the experience ahead. Businesses can customize their introductory text and people will now have more context to begin their interaction.

Developers who are interested in the additional technical features and specifications of the update should head over to the Messenger Developer Blog to find out.

Thank you to the more than 1 billion people who use Messenger each month and to our developer community for being the awesome partners who are bringing this platform to life. There’s much more to come throughout the rest of 2016 — so stay tuned.