Facebook announced the improved Messenger platform in April during the F8 conference which included the introduction of bots. There were very few Messenger bots that were launched during the conference and now the company has revealed an update to the Messenger Platform.
To kick things off, Messenger now has over 11,000 bots which is crazy for a relatively short period of time and also over 23,000 developers have signed up for their Bot Engine. Facebook has also announced 6 new changes to the Messaging platform:
- Quick replies: The whole point about quick replies is to give a more guided experience for people as they interact with a bot. This will include 10 dynamic buttons that will be aligned with your recent messages so that the chat history is cleaner.
- Ratings: This will allow you to give a star rating to a bot which is awesome for feedback for both users and developers.
- Persistent menu: There will be now a persistent menu which will have upto 5 actions so as to eliminate the need to remember the various text commands you need to use to interact with the bot
- Account linking: Facebook will launch a way for businesses to connect their customers’ accounts with Messenger accounts which will be an opt in option.
- More content types: Developers will now be able to send other formats like GIFS, video, audio and other file types which will play natively in Messenger. This will lead to more interactive bots that display rich media which is awesome.
- Developer resource: Facebook has created a “resource” for businesses and developers to get information what is happening in the platform from their engineering and product teams. This is Facebook’s attempt to foster a good relationship with businesses and developers and this could lead to better bots being made for Messenger.
This update will definitely lead to better bots being made for Messenger which is important for Facebook since they are positioning it as a business tool. As it approaches the billion user mark, Messenger’s importance in the Facebook ecosystem will only become more pronounced.