Facebook has recently begun to market Messenger as more than just a means of communicating with your friends and now the company has started listing possible businesses to chat with as well.
When searching for people or groups using the app, an extra line of 20 suggested businesses now appears. However as the feature is new, the businesses featured are not based on a users' personal interests. Instead the suggested businesses are ones that are close in proximity or currently popular on Facebook.
Currently only a small number of businesses are listed and it seems that the company is conducting a limited test to see if this feature appeals to users. Facebook has lofty ambitions for this feature and hopes to make a business out of simplifying the way that companies and users interact over its Messenger platform that has a large install base and is very popular with 800 million active users.
Facebook recently announced that it is already working with some retailers including Zulily and Everlane to give users the ability to shop from within its Messenger app. Currently users can order a car from Uber through the app and the company believes that messaging apps have the possibility to provide users with a multitude of goods and services as they do in Asia.
As Facebook at Work is currently under development and the service has already been adopted by quite a few large companies, the notion of using Facebook Messenger to interact with companies right from within the app will hopefully be welcomed by both businesses and consumers.