Facebook Messenger Update Introduces Interactive Bots for Businesses

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Aug. 7, 2017—Facebook announced it has improved its Messenger Platform after listening to its business partners and developer community, Small Business Trends reports. With Facebook Messenger Platform 2.1, Facebook has focused on improving its AI and chatbots.

The company says the new tools will allow developers to build Messenger experiences to drive business objectives. AI and bots are now being used more and more to answer customer questions.

Luke Starbuck, vice president of marketing at Linc, said explains, “Brands that personalize and automate their customer care to give shoppers what they want will be the winners this year through retention, delivery cost and revenue benefits to the business. The opportunity for brands to connect with their shoppers more closely is there for the taking.”

Messenger Platform 2.0 was introduced at F8 in April 2017 with a new suite of tools for improving bots. This includes building richer experiences, getting discovered, and extending their conversational, visual and social capabilities.

The improvements in 2.1 will add built-in natural language processing for detecting seven key traits of any message before passing it onto the bots of a business. This will be part of a handover protocol for creating better experiences, including moving conversations from bot to humans.

Some of the additional updates are: a seamless payment flow, desktop support for Extensions SDK, and customer matching API. There is also an expanded set of Facebook Page buttons for Messenger with five new Call to Action buttons businesses and developers can use.

The goal of the natural language processing feature, call to action buttons and other features is to improve customer experience by flagging crucial customer questions and feedback and responding as soon as possible.

Facebook’s Q2 report for 2017 revealed the company has more than 70 million business users. And all of these businesses want to engage with the site’s 1.32 billion daily average visitors, as well as the more than 2 billion monthly users. With Messenger Platform 2.1, they will have more options for making this possible.


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