With 1.94 billion users worldwide, 307 million in Europe and 10.7 million in the UK alone, it's fair to say that Facebook is the largest marketing platform on the planet – perfect for the top online bookmakers to extend their customer network. However, with gambling advertising capped across the world on this social platform, online betting sites have so far struggled to tap into Facebook’s unrivalled number of potential punters... Until now!
Paddy Power have announced that they will become the first online bookie to accept bets via the Facebook Messenger betting platform, in a unique deal penned with service provider Onionsack. The link-up will enable Facebook users to log into their betting account, check their balance and even place bets as and when they wish via Facebook’s Messenger app. It’s an innovation that could change how millions of punters bet each and every week!
In an industry as competitive as sports betting, it pays to be the first out of the blocks with new innovations and ideas. Betfair have recently introduced their Exchange platform, with bet365 following up with a live streaming service that has changed the way many people watch their favourite sports.
This sets Paddy Power in excellent stead in providing a service that not only simplifies the process of placing a bet, but speeds it up, too. They've managed this by combining Facebook's Messenger service with Paddy Power’s own chatbot – all punters need to do is write their bet and the amount they wish to stake in a message.
Onionsack’s AI is able to decode the message and execute the bets on Paddy Power’s behalf. It's an added bonus for all users that the service will also link automatically to the betting brand’s videos, blog posts and podcasts: taking them closer to the near-the-knuckle content provided by the Irish firm.
Paddy Power product director Michael Healy confirmed that this is just the first step in the brand’s reenergised online strategy:
"We know our customers love mobile messaging apps, so having a ChatBot on Facebook Messenger is the obvious first step into the ChatBot marketplace. We're delighted to be the first bookmaker to market in such an exciting area. Nearly all of Paddy Power's customers are on Facebook, and now they can actually place a bet through the Facebook Messenger app with ease. Our customers will be able to request odds and receive push notifications tailored to their own betting interests, plus enjoy a daily serving of Paddy Power mischief and entertainment."
So who and what is Onionsack? This is the company responsible for providing a bet messaging platform to a number of the UK’s biggest bookmakers, including Ladbrokes and William Hill. It's fair to say they know a thing or two about the industry.
Their unique platform has genuinely changed how a number of punters place their bets, both before an event and particularly in-play where speed is a necessity to secure the best odds.
The move into instant messaging was the obvious next step, with Facebook integration something that they believe will help to move sports betting forwards. Onionsack’s chief executive, Jonathan Power went on to say:
"With nearly the whole world connected to Facebook, the logical step is to allow customers to place a bet through the social media giant's Messenger app. Our innovative transactional bot allows exactly that, providing punters with an even easier way of betting through instant messaging."
If an innovation comes along that makes placing a bet easier, this can only be a good thing for punters. Rather than having to navigate through screens via their desktop site or app to get to the markets that they want to wager on, tapping out a simple text or instant message – something that has become ingrained in daily life already – is a real boon. Paddy’s Michael Healy confirmed:
"We expect more bookmakers to launch their chatbots in the near future, as it provides a simple and more personalised way of betting."
Simplicity is the direction in which modern technology appears to be going in, and Paddy Power’s link-up with Facebook Messenger and Onionsack are sure to be a game-changer for punters across the globe. Head over to Paddy Power Sports today to get signed up for an account so you can start using the awesome functionality of the Facebook Messenger integration!