Facebook finally revealed its plan to allow businesses to build bots for Messenger. Announced at Facebook’s F8 Developer Conference in San Francisco, developers present at the conference had an opportunity to experience a sneak peek at how these bots actually work. However, Facebook has been currently working with partners whose bots are currently live on Messenger.
Prior to the Conference, Facebook introduced an ability to easily find bots simply by providing the business name into the search bar at the top of Messenger app. Moreover, you can also access bots by scanning a business Messenger Code by clicking on a Messenger Link.
Facebook, to begin with has established a partnership with 33 companies, which includes CNN, Burger King, Bank of America, Staples and Fandango but we can expect the arrival of bots as more developers get their hands on the tools.
With the help of bots, you can order flowers (1-800-Flowers), get instant notifications about your bank account (Bank of America), place order for even via Burger King or even print photos. There are bots available from Salesforce and Zendesk, which enable instant communication between businesses including a bot for asking health related queries via HealthTap.
Even though the interactions with these bots are fairly limited, it actually varies depending on the company. Based on your location, a bot from Poncho can provide daily weather updates including personalization of the reports based on whether you are prone to pollen allergies or frizzy hair.
To work with Facebook bots, all you need to do is install it and type the answer to the question displayed on the screen by tapping on Select this link. The bots feature is still in its infancy stage since the actual implementation of advanced natural language processing is difficult.
Despite the introduction of Facebook bots, it remains unclear as to how effective they are. This is because when CNN’s bot delivered the top headlines of the day, it also provided a story about wombats when we searched for gadget related news.
We also noticed that the bots offered the same generic suggestions instead of personalized, thus increasing the demand for more improvements in the development of bots.