In the U.S., more than 80 percent of Facebook users are connected to at least one small business, and more than 200 million people visit an Instagram business profile every day. So in honor of National Small Business Week, the platforms are adding crucial tools to help small businesses connect to consumers.
The first and most convenient: Appointment Booking, which is great news if you use Facebook and Instagram to find nail salons or dry bars, only to have to then Google them and make appointments via their individual websites (or worse, call them on the phone). Now, you can now your book appointment directly through Messenger by clicking the “Book Now” button on the business's Facebook page or with the “Book” button on the business's Instagram Profile, request the service you want, and confirm a time without ever leaving the app.
For the more than 90 million businesses that operate on Facebook, this a huge win — more accessibility to potential consumers and a more streamlined process when it comes to booking customers, complete with a customer follow-up feature.
"Facebook wants to empower small businesses to drive business results through free tools we offer. As part of this ongoing work, we uncovered a need for an easier way for businesses to receive and manage appointments. With Appointments, businesses can now enable their customers to book appointments directly on Facebook for free," said Nikila Srinivasan, director of small business product management at Facebook.
Also announced today: new video creative tools designed to make it easier for businesses to create promotional videos, and a new feature that lets business automate their ads with four simple steps. This comes on the heels of last week's F8 keynote led by Mark Zuckerberg, where it was announced that Messenger got a major overhaul with a faster mobile app and new desktop app and that Instagram is continuing to lean into Shopping with the inclusion of creator and influencer profiles as shopping destinations. (There was also news that Instagram is experimenting with hiding like counts on posts.)