Facebook on Thursday announced the Messenger Platform 2.1, a new technological solution that enables a wide variety of new content and features on the company's instant messaging (IM) service. Following the new update, developers are able to access a broad range of tools that can help them create new services for Messenger, the company said, adding that the update represents a significant improvement over the Messenger Platform 2.0 that was introduced in late 2016. The framework revision introduces a widened set of Facebook Page buttons for the service that now boasts what Facebook refers to as the Call to Action (CTA) buttons. Developers can add those buttons to their Facebook Pages and encourage users to try their Messenger experiences, as revealed by the Menlo Park, California-based social media giant.
The new update also debuts integrated support for neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) for automated conversations on Messenger, allowing developers to program their bots in a way that makes them more efficient at identifying the meaning of particular queries, with the solution itself actually analyzing the contents of questions before relaying them to bots with additional context that it managed to detect. The current version of the service is still somewhat limited in nature and is only able to recognize simple messages like greetings and queries related to time and date, though Facebook claims the technology will be significantly improved in the future. The Messenger Platform 2.1 also introduces a new handover protocol that's meant to facilitate cross-app operations in a variety of ways within Facebook's service. Developers using the new tools will be able to create solutions that can transition users from conversations with bots to chat windows with actual human agents in a smooth and visually consistent manner, the social media company said.
The Messenger Platform 2.1 ships with a new software development kit (SDK) for payments and desktop support for the Extensions SDK, in addition to making Global Pages compatible with Chat Extensions and revising the customer matching application programming interface (API). The release of the service marks yet another step in Facebook's endeavor to provide developers with more opportunities to develop for Messenger and consequently monetize the platform more efficiently. The company's latest earnings report showed promising performance but confirmed that the social media giant is still overly reliant on advertising revenue which is something that Mark Zuckerberg himself said will be addressed in the near future by monetizing services like Messenger and WhatsApp more efficiently.