Facebook introduced bots for the Messenger Platform during the F8 conference on April 12th. Since then everyone is talking about, what it is ? and how it will work?
I would like to tell you first that bots are not new in cyberspace. You must have seen many conversations bots on twitter and played with SIRI on iPhone/iPad. But here this messenger bot is big news because it is being introduced by social giant Facebook and right now messenger app has 900 million user base.
Bots are kind of artificially intelligent web robots who can have a conversation with you, handle your query or sell something to you. Through the Messenger Platform’s new Send/Receive API, bots can send more than just text. They will be able to respond with structured messages that include images, links and call to action buttons. These could let users make a restaurant reservation, review an e-commerce order and more. You can swipe through product carousels and pop out to the web to pay for a purchase.
David Marcus said during the launch that The Messenger Send / Receive API will support not only sending and receiving text, but also images and interactive rich bubbles containing multiple calls-to-action. Developers can also set a welcome screen for their threads to set the context as well as different controls. Starting today, all developers and businesses will have access to documents to build bots for Messenger, and submit them for review. We will gradually accept and approve submissions to ensure the best experiences for everyone on Messenger.
Importantly, Facebook’s Messenger Platform currently doesn’t allow payments directly through a credit card added to Messenger.
A new persistent search bar at the top of Messenger will help people discover bots. For companies already connecting with customers over SMS, a phone number matching tool will let them easily shift those conversations to people’s Messenger account instead, thanks to a partnership with Twilio. To keep people on control, a block button appears at the top of every bot conversation so you can easily silence them.
Right now I can’t say, how bots will influence or change marketing ? Probably advertiser will use its advertising feature where one pushes the sponsored content or directly drive traffic to messenger through news feed ads. But right now I can say with confidence that it is going to change the face of service for sure.
Content publishers are going to use it in a great way. These bots have to learn users behavior personalise the conversation accordingly. I have just experienced CNN and Techcrunch bots and they are simply superb.