A couple of months back, Facebook announced that it would be bringing chat bots to Messenger. With that, Facebook has allowed developers to create their own chat bots within Messenger and give it a range of functionality. Since the launch, over 23,000 developers have signed up for the company's Wit.ai's Bot Engine and over 11,000 bots have been launched on Messenger to date. With chat bots, users can do a multitude of things, such as ordering flowers without having to place a call, or get a CNN chat bot to send news updates directly to subscribers. Facebook even launched a chat bot during the NBA Finals which sent updates and highlights from the Finals to users. Today, Facebook has announced that it will be bringing new updates to its platform which should benefit both developers and users alike.
For starters, people can now provide feedback and give ratings for bot developers. These reviews and ratings will then be shared with the bot developer. Quick replies has also been introduced, these are buttons with replies that are directly related to recent messages with the bot, leading to faster paced conversations. It will also make chat history cleaner as only selected responses are shown. A Persistent Menu has also been introduced to bots, it is a menu which will showcase top-level actions which users can select at any time. There will also be account linking now, a tool for businesses which will allow them to connect to their customers' Messenger accounts. It is for businesses to provide a more personalized service to their customers and users do not have to worry about security as it is a secure protocol. However, this service is not compulsory as people will have to opt-in to use it.
Facebook has introduced more content types too, such as GIFs, files, video and audio. All this content can be introduced to chat bots on Messenger by developers. With that, the bots will be able to send the content to other people. To give more control over bots to people, Facebook has also introduced the option to mute bots on Messenger. It can be done the same way people mute friends on Messenger. Lastly, Facebook has also launched a Messenger blog which will include tips, case studies and Q&A sessions with brands.