Facebook Messenger launches new discover service as the service claims 13 million Australian users

Facebook has claimed 13m Australian Messenger users, nearly 80% of all smartphone users in the country and more than half the population, as the company starts the local roll out of its Messenger Discover feature.

Already available in the US, Egypt, the Philippines and France, the updated app will appear on Australian users’ screens this week. Discover allows people to find brands offering services through the Messenger app which currently features organisations including Tennis Australia, the ABC, Qantas and Domain.

Facebook Messenger’s new Discover tab

“We’re  launching the Discover tab which is not something that’s rolled out in too many markets, so we’re very excited Australia is next cab off the rank,” Sophie Blachford, Messenger’s brand development lead, told Mumbrella.

Blachford described some of the methods in how organisations are using Messenger as a marketing and customer support platform as Facebook looks to position the service as a modern equivalent of the Yellow Pages in finding brands.

“There’s a number of ways people can connect with businesses from an organic or paid point of view. From an organic point of view we’ve had things like you can put plugs in on your websites, you can use Messenger codes so when you scan they open up conversations.

“You can put on direct links, you can put on email marketing or whatever it might be. But we think it’s important to have a directory of sorts that sits in the Messenger app that shows what you’ve used recently or might find relevant.

“We’re very excited we have this directory where Aussies can discover more things that are useful for them from brands across a range of different verticals, big and small,” she said.

“Australia is a really big messenger market, so we know the users are there and we have a thriving startup market in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. So we’re seeing almost every month we’re seeing new companies and developers popping up in this space.”

Blatchford was also enthusiastic about the opportunities for Australian brands to grow globally, particularly media sites.

“If you look at something like the ABC News, they’ve gained huge popularity outside of Australia through a cricket audience, so they’re getting all these users to their bots because of cricket. People in the UK, India, Pakistan and South Africa love the coverage.

“We’re very excited to see what Aussie brands do. Not just how users respond to them but also can they get new global audiences as well.”


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