Facebook has today announced the launch of the Messenger Platform currently in beta. The social media giant’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has demonstrated on stage at the F8 Developer Conference how chatbot support works on the Messenger platform, showing off a video with a user ordering flowers from 1-800 by simply messaging the service provider.
Facebook Messenger has seen rapid growth since the giant forced users to use a separate app by splitting off messaging on mobile devices, with over 900 million people across the globe communicating with friends, and over 50 million businesses on Messenger.
With the launch of bots for the Messenger Platform, Facebook will be able to provide users various services automated subscription content such as weather and traffic updates, customized communications such as receipts, shopping notifications, and more.
The new Messenger Send/Receive API supports images and interactive rich bubbles containing multiple calls-to-action (alongside text). Facebook has built new discovery tools such as plugins for websites, usernames and Messenger Codes, and a search surface in Messenger. Also, it has made Wit.ai’s Bot Engine available to developers in order to build more complex bots able to interpret intent from natural language.