Facebook continues to innovate the way we interact with the physical world around us in the digital sphere. Recently, Facebook’s messenger application rolled out a bot for OpenTable, and the hospitality world may never be the same. For those of you who are unfamiliar, OpenTable is a website that allows you to book reservations for your favorite restaurants all while receiving email reminders and loyalty “points” for making sure you don’t skip your allotted dinner time.
How does this change the way OpenTable will work?
Through the integration of OpenTable on FaceBook making dinner plans is now a collaborative and dare we say fun? The Messenger bot allows for groups of friends to search for available restaurants in their area and book their table all without ever leaving the messenger application. In this way it will change the way restaurants market themselves online, especially through the platform of Facebook. The consolidation is absolutely a benefit for the consumer, but OpenTable’s pairing with Facebook is interesting to consider when you think about a potential monopoly forming in the marketing realm. If Facebook integrates every outside platform into their own, are they cannibalizing diversified marketing techniques?
Perhaps it is too soon to tell, but in any case the new roll-out will signal a change in how we make plans with each other to grab after work drinks, or set up that first date.
Catherine Porter, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at OpenTable was recently quoted saying: “Dining out is such a social activity and millions of people are already using Messenger and social media to connect with friends to discuss their dining plans. The OpenTable bot for Messenger is a natural extension of this making planning and booking together even easier.”
As a digital marketing agency that services our fair share of hospitality clients, we can’t wait to employ this feature to pick our next team happy hour. When it comes to wondering whether or not this will dynamically change the world of hospitality marketing, Facebook has been shifting the landscape of online marketing since Day 1; and we’ll be eagerly waiting standby to see what they have coming next.