Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) will announce support for chatbots and live chat APIs for Messenger during the Facebook Developer Conference on April 12-13 at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, according to tech analysts. New features come as the first step to monetizing the platform that has 900 million users worldwide.
It appears that the social network giant has been working with business-to-business developers to build a new platform, that would allow customers to connect with businesses using Facebook Messenger, said Techcrunch on Thursday.
Chatbots can generate automatic responses for customers, however, designing them could be a complicated task. As a response, Facebook will provide businesses with a platform that already works. Bots via Messenger would send images, descriptions, URLs, calls to action, and check for online orders or make restaurant reservations.
Currently, Facebook Messenger offers a similar integration with Uber and KLM. For instance, people can request a taxi just by clicking on an address or by texting to Uber. On the other hand, customers of the airline can receive boarding passes, flight statuses and notifications via Messenger.
The company lead by the entrepreneur Mark Zuckerberg has been working on new ways to monetize the Facebook platform, which don’t appear invasive. Introducing chatbots and support for live chat customer service, could create a new form of generating revenue, since robots would also suggest people to buy products.
Facebook introduced new tools for businesses on Thursday
The scope of Facebook Messenger is huge since it has 900 million active users per month. During the same period of time, 1 billion messages are sent between customers and businesses. As a response, the social network presented on Thursday new tools like user names, Messenger link and Messenger Codes.
Pages of businesses can now set and edit a username that will appear on the forefront with an @ symbol before it, to help people find businesses on Facebook and Messenger in a simpler way.
“Direct communication through Messenger and Facebook is fast and convenient for both people and businesses. And now, making it clear to people that your business is available to communicate directly through Messenger is even easier.” Said Facebook
Entrepreneurs can now create easy-to-remember Messenger Links that open a conversation with a business on Messenger. Moreover, they can create Messenger Codes that work in the same way, but require a camera scan instead of a link. For instance, a business can distribute posters with Messenger Codes on the street, and people can make it a scan with their smartphones, to communicate with the customer service.
Facebook also introduced Messenger Greetings, which allows businesses to set messages that will appear every time a customer wants to start a chat. All new features will be available globally in the coming weeks.
Messenger Codes are currently available for all Facebook users, who can just simply scan codes on their smartphones to add a new person on Messenger, even if they are not friends on Facebook.
“Traditional phone books are almost obsolete, we’re making it easier for you to find the people (and businesses) that matter to you and be able to start conversations immediately with the launch of a simple set of tools that are built for the modern world”. Said Facebook.
Source: Facebook Newsroom