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How to Install Facebook Messenger to your Business website

Facebook recently announced the release of the beta version of its Facebook  Messenger Plugin. This is seen as a great move for businesses seeking better ways to connect with their customer. It also allows businesses to integrate the now well-known Facebook chat feature on their website without needing to have their own custom chat feature. This news came on November 7, 2017. Ever since there has been a lot of positive news and reactions to this move. The plugin has already been implemented for some big brands out there. We will also look at ‘How to install Facebook Messenger plugin’. 

 

Bodeaz (https://bodeaz.com) is a website that sells fitness goods and accessories for men and women. The website has integrated Facebook Messenger plugin and customized it with their branding. The chat window appears as soon as a user scrolls down and the window shows your profile picture and name if you are already logged in with Facebook. The blog, jonloomer, also uses the chat plugin. The blog talks about topics from the tech world and has a blog dedicated to the Facebook chat Messenger as well.

 

How to install Facebook  Messenger Plugin

 

Before looking at ways to install the plugin, the following steps must be followed

  1. Include the Facebook JavaScript SDK to your webpage
    This is a necessary step for almost any Facebook plugin that you would want to use in your website. The idea is to include the following code directly after opening the <body> tag.

    <script>
      window.fbAsyncInit = function() {
        FB.init({
          appId            : 'your-app-id',
          autoLogAppEvents : true,
          xfbml            : true,
          version          : 'v2.12'
        });
      };
      (function(d, s, id){
         var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
         if (d.getElementById(id)) {return;}
         js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;
         js.src = "https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js";
         fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);
       }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));
    </script>
  2. Whitelist the domain of your website
    Whitelisting is important to allow the Messenger chat integration to be fully functional on your website. The whitelisting is achieved by the following steps.
    • Serve your pages over HTTPS
    • Use a fully qualified domain name, such as www.messenger.com. IP addresses and localhost are not supported for whitelisting.
  3. Include the plugin to your website
    The final step to include the plugin is to add the following code, which is nothing but a <div> to your HTML.
<div class="fb-customerchat"
 page_id="<PAGE_ID>"
 ref="<OPTIONAL_WEBHOOK_PARAM>"
 theme_color="<HEX_COLOR_CODE>"
 logged_in_greeting="<GREETING_MESSAGE_FOR_LOGGED_IN_USERS>"
 logged_out_greeting="<GREETING_MESSAGE_FOR_LOGGED_OUT_USERS>">
</div>

 

The inclusion of the chat can be done in the following flavors.

  1. The code – snippets mentioned needs to be included in a generic website.
  2. The installation can also be done using Google Tag Manager, where the same snippet can be used, except that the div here has to be dynamically generated (through JavaScript or some front-end scripting).
  3. The installation can also be done for WordPress websites, using the plugin manager in the admin interface. The idea is to paste the same code-snippet where the plugins are managed.

Advantages

 

The plugin is a great way to connect with customers and has the following advantages.

  1. Inexpensive – The plugin is cheaper to integrate (developer cost being the only possible cost) than building custom chat functionality.
  2. Available – The chat is always available for the customer and doesn’t depend on the presence of tech support at all times. The chat is stored and available for responding later on.
  3. Seamless integration – Once a customer moves to the Facebook page of your business, the chat can still continue where it left off.
  4. Sponsored Messages – The chat has a feature to send automatic, sponsored Messages to all the people who have liked your page.

 

Disadvantages

 

The plugin faces some criticism as well, from the businesses that need a better-connected chat system.

  1. Chat Transfer – The chats cannot be transferred to other agents who might better serve the customer.
  2. Chat Report – There is no analytics support or any kind of visualization available.
  3. No cataloging – If you depend on chats to collect leads, you have to maintain a separate spreadsheet in this case.

We are eager to know your thoughts on the new Facebook Messenger Plugin. Please leave us a comment or two to let us know about it!

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