Social media giant Facebook announced that its Messenger app will be opened to third party developers at a conference today.

The new features, within an app called Messenger Platform, will allow Messenger’s 600 million users to create and share content with third-party tools, as well as communicating directly with businesses rather than calling or emailing.

Users will be able to create dynamic content including animated GIFs and special effects videos, and then instantly share it with friends through Messenger.

There are only a handful of Messenger content app partners so far, including JibJab, PicCollage, Gif Keyboard, Imgur and Picstitch, but this number will undoubtedly grow as the app does.

The apps are not built into the Messenger app – rather, they are separate companion apps, to avoid clogging speeds on devices.

Like stickers and photos, the content apps will be accessible through the … symbol in the composer next to options and keyboard.

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This move will revolutionise things for app developers too, who will be able to roll their work out directly through Facebook.

The business end of things will see users able to communicate with businesses through a single text thread, rather than a long email chain or sitting on hold on the phone for hours.

When it’s properly rolled out, this will encompass order confirmations, customer support, complaints and more – so you can have it all in one handy thread instead of having to rifle through your email inbox to find what you’re looking for. 

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