Facebook has been trialling a unified Inbox feature on their main platform application for a small number of users, which combines three of its core services and features; Facebook, Facebook Messenger and Instagram. This trial has now been successfully completed and the company is rolling out the update to its entire userbase. The new feature is primarily designed to help small and medium business owners or managers keep on top of their social media engagement. Facebook's global head of pages, Benji Shomair, explained that a unified inbox is one of the company's most frequent requests and that the company understands some individuals had taken to carrying multiple devices in order to quickly respond to different social media messages and notifications. Facebook realize that some customers struggle to open multiple applications in order to respond to customers – and it's a problem that's only getting worse. Facebook explains that there are almost five billion comments, messages and posts added to its Pages services a month. Facebook's instant messenger application, WhatsApp, is not included in the new service as WhatsApp uses a phone number for an account rather than an email address.
The new unified inbox service is an improvement to the existing Facebook application and it collates messages from the three core services to present them in one single stream. There's also a new tabbed style of view, which means that managers are able to set up custom views in order to focus on an individual channel. This should make managing a product or service launch easier to keep track of. However, customers will still be able to engage on particular channels using the Facebook Messenger or Instagram app if desired as the Facebook Pages Manager mode is an optional extra for accounts. Hopefully, it will reduce the need some business managers and owners feel to have multiple devices to handle their social media platforms.
The new feature sit alongside Facebook's ongoing evolution of its products and services, in particular Instagram where this business has been growing in popularity. Yesterday, we learnt that @Android had gained an Instagram account and earlier in the year, the company announced a series of improvements to how Instagram were allowing businesses to engage with and promote to their customers and potential customers. Meanwhile, Facebook may be keen to distance themselves from their news service. The update is being rolled out and if it is not yet available for your account, it will be soon.