Facebook Messenger will soon have more bots. According to a leaked slide deck, the company will announce a bot platform for its chat service at next week’s F8 conference.
According to TechCrunch, Facebook is seeding APIs to developers that allow them to build bots for Messenger and Web plugins for Live Chat.
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The overarching aim is to automate customer service, something Twilio is already doing. Users chat with bots that automate messages rather than humans who may be fielding several chats at once.
Facebook is adding a bit of depth to bots, though — at least according to the report. Instead of a static message, bots will be able to feed users flashy cards with graphics and call-to-action buttons that let them book reservations at restaurants or buy goods.
Live Chat interaction is also not a new concept; in Facebook’s version, a website would still have a ‘chat’ button for discussing your concerns, which then opens up a live chat.
The difference is that Facebook’s web plugin redirects users to Messenger. In an automated world, a Live Chat web plugin could redirect users to Messenger — to chat with a bot. Unfortunately, the report doesn’t let us know if Facebook has any fallbacks for routing users to live humans if a bot fails to get the job done.
We’ll be live at F8 next week, where Facebook is expected to make an announcement about this technology. Stay tuned.