Bots are now able to offer content to enrich conversations between friends, soon also automatically, thanks to artificial intelligence
San Jose, California (USA) Spotify, Kayak, Giphy, Wall Street Journal and more: there are around twenty, the extensions that Facebook now adds to Messenger with the launch of the version 2.0 of the platform. Real apps to be used within chats, the extensions will allow you to bring content into conversations without abandoning chats to search for links to share with your friends outside the app.
For example, in the case of Spotify but the Apple Music extension will also arrive soon, it will be possible to send a link to a group or singer page, or 30 seconds preview of a song, which you can listen to without leaving the chat, and even without having the Spotify app installed on your phone.
To access the extensions just open a chat and touch the "+" sign at the bottom left, next to the camera symbol, and then navigate in the window that pops up on the conversation.
Unlike chatbots, which necessarily generate private conversations, the extensions allow you to bring content and services within group chats, they will soon be integrated also into M, the virtual assistant that Facebook has released in the United States and can be suggested by intelligence artificial based on the topics discussed with friends.
“Facebook an ecosystem composed of two fundamental components: one that of people, who are on Facebook to talk to each other; the other that of the companies, which are there and want to get in touch with people "Stan Chudnovsky, VP Product of Messenger, told me.
"There are over 20 million businesses active on Messenger today", continued Chudnovsky, who likes to compare Messenger to the White Pages: a huge list where you can find and talk to anyone, even without knowing the phone number. 1.2 billion people use Messenger every month. With the launch of the platform for bots, "Messenger has started to integrate the contacts that are normally found on the Yellow Pages, and with today's release of version 2.0 and the" Discover "function it will be easier to find them". To access the Discover function, just touch the blue hexagon at the bottom right of the contact search page, and then browse by category.
Obviously, not all bots will become extensions: currently, over 100 thousand companies have programmed chatbots, which generate over 2 billion conversations with users every month.
A year after the big launch, chatting with bots is a much simpler experience: it was enough to switch from open to guided conversations, in which users are given the options to choose from based on how the speech develops. An example is the Golden State Warriors bot: from the launch of the chat to the purchase of tickets for tomorrow's game, three answers were enough, and less than 2 minutes of conversation.
"Bots are not the goal for us, but they are a means to get you to your goal"Chudnovsky explained. "Bots serve to enrich conversations, and without saying that all companies need it: if you have a family business, you probably don't need it, and you will want to respond in person to those who come into contact with you. Except, perhaps, wanting to automate some responses, such as opening hours ". To answer these questions, Facebook has provided a platform for "Smart Replies", automated answers, which recognizes the question and proposes the answer as scheduled.
Games are also increasingly important on the platform: according to David Marcus, Vice President of Messenger products for Facebook, more than 1.5 billion games have been played on Messenger since the launch last November to today. For this reason, with the platform update, a page is also added to explore new titles.