Facebook announced chatbot support for Facebook Messenger today.
Called “Bots for Messenger”, the feature will come with the latest Messenger update and will allow businesses and developers to create their own chat bot for the Messenger service to allow them to automate conversations with their users.
One example that Facebook gave was 1-800-Flowers, which would allow users to just send a few messages to a chatbot in order to order flowers for someone, they also shown a CNN bot for sending breaking news, and catch-up content, and finally an integration with an app that allows a user to complete a transaction for a store from with the Facebook Messenger application using a chatbot.
A beta version of the Messenger Platform will be launched today to allow developers to start creating these bots for the app, with access to new buttons, calls to action and images to allow them to create new bot experiences.
One important feature that will be added is the ability to block these messages, allowing users to cut off a conversation with a bot, or stop a business from sending them any bot messages at all, this is especially important as Facebook will be allowing sponsored content to be shown over bots.
To find new bots you will be able to use the new persistent search bar at the top.
As of yet, we don’t know when this will launch to the public completely, but we are excited to see what developers come up with to use it.