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Facebook's Messenger platform will let you download apps, message businesses

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During his F8, Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the next phase in Facebook Messenger: Messenger Platform. According to Zuckerberg, the app is now an ecosystem that can now be used to create and share content in line and independent of the News Feed.

An entire ecosystem built into Facebook Messenger

Going forward, users will be able to install apps and make purchases inside Messenger. The app's composer bar is expanding to give users access to more than 40 new apps — including ones for ESPN, the Weather Channel, JibJab, and Ditty — in order to "enhance" their conversations. Apps can be installed immediately from the Messenger App Store, and content can be shared after the app is integrated from there. Developers can start designing apps for Platform starting today.

Messenger Platform

Perhaps more significant than apps is Businesses on Messenger, which allows users to have conversations with businesses and brands. The thrust of that conversation won't be a philosophical discussion about "What is bae?" but rather one involving transactions and orders. So users can contact companies about their recent purchase and inquire about when it ships in real-time or even modify the purchase. In addition, if you have a credit card on file and a session open with a brand, you can make a purchase from inside the app.

Businesses on Messenger will launch in a few weeks, and Facebook is currently working to partner with more businesses.