Facebook opens Instagram Messaging API for businesses

Facebook is expanding its API to support Instagram , enabling developers and to integrate from Instagram into other business applications.

The social networking giant has been pushing to unite its various properties including Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram over the past couple of years, and last month the company announced a major milestone in this movement when it started making it possible for Messenger and Instagram users to message each other. While the Messenger API itself doesn't support cross-app communication, this latest expansion will bring Instagram onto a more equal footing with its Messenger counterpart in terms of its utility as a business communications platform.

Instagram has come a long way since Facebook swooped in with $1 billion to buy the photo-sharing app back in 2012, and with well over 1 billion users it is an attractive proposition for businesses looking to increase their engagement and sales. Indeed, Instagram has long offered myriad tools for businesses, and has emerged as an ecommerce platform in its own right where consumers can discover and buy goods.

By opening the Messenger API to Instagram, this will let businesses access its customers' conversations from within whatever applications they use as part of their daily workflow, for example customer relationship management (CRM) systems. This means that messages from a customer can be displayed alongside other data relating to them, such as their order history.

The upgraded Messenger API is currently available as part of a beta program with select developers and businesses, such as Adidas, Amaro, Glossier, H&M, Michael Kors, Nars, and Sephora.

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