Facebook Messenger is saying hello to bots. At today’s F8 Conference, the social networking giant announced its new Messenger Platform.
A number of features
Bots are designed to give you a wide variety of information, including weather and traffic updates or even more personalized communication like a receipt or shipping notification.
Here’s a video showing one example on how a bot can be used. In this case, you’ll be able to view some of the top stories from the day via CNN.
Starting now, all developers can build bots for Messenger. They will have to be submitted to Facebook and reviewed for approval.
Facebook has also built specific plugins for sites, new Messenger Codes, and a search feature using the app. Ads on Facebook could be designed to open threads on Messenger while a new customer matching feature will allow correspondence that is usually sent through text to be opened through the app.
Users can control the communication that they receive. Here’s more from Facebook:
People’s experience on Messenger is at the heart of everything we do. We know we can’t serve businesses well without putting people in control, so that’s exactly what we’ve done. As businesses begin to interact with people – from reservations to customer service to a small test of sponsored messages – we’ve built a new suite of controls and policies that we’re putting in place now and for the future. We are focused on facilitating messages from businesses that provide meaningful value to the people who receive them. People will be able to mute and block communications that they don’t want to receive. There are also strict policies for developers and businesses to uphold and we will have review processes to ensure we carefully evaluate how our community is responding.
Facebook Messenger is designed for the iPhone/iPod touch and all iPad models. It can be downloaded now on the App Store for free.