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Facebook adds e-commerce enrichment features to Messenger bots

Facebook makes it easier for businesses and consumers to communicate with each other via Messenger.


Since the chatbot platform launched in April, more than 11,000 bots have been added to Messenger, while over 23,000 developers have signed up to use the company's recently acquired natural language bot engine tool from wit.ai. Facebook has also added new features for its Messenger Platform to help brands and developers make better use of chatbots to better enhance user engagement and interaction.

More content types
One of the enhanced new features catching e-tailer attention is the ability to send videos, audio clips, GIFs, and other files in chat conversations with consumers. Videos and audio clips play natively in Messenger. That means e-tailers can now send a richer range of content types to portray more comprehensive brand personalities.

Account linking
Facebook has also launched a secure protocol for e-tailers to connect customer accounts with Messenger accounts, enabling a deeper and more personal experience. The feature would allow customers to link, for example, their account with a book retailer to the brand chatbot. The chatbot can then suggest new books based on what the customer has purchased before.

Persistent menu
The persistent navigation menu was included to eliminate the need for consumers to remember text commands. Positioned within a three-line hamburger button at the bottom of the screen, the menu can be opened to reveal top-level commands like “Go Shopping”, “On Sale”, “Top Sellers”, and “Help” to easily communicates the basic capabilities of bots for first-time and returning users. The persistent navigation menu was included to eliminate the need for consumers to remember text commands. Positioned within a three-line hamburger button at the bottom of the screen, the menu can be opened to reveal top-level commands

Facebook’s head of Messenger David Marcus believes these will assist with “re-engagement and consistency.”

And there’s more
Other updates include user ratings and analytics for bot developers, quick user replies that help consumers answer from a select list of available responses, and more user controls (such as muting a bot).

Facebook has also announced an updated set of guidelines for bot development, as well as a new resource blog that includes tips, case studies, and a Q&A series with businesses and brands that have already built bots for Messenger.

Tags: Customer experience, Facebook, Marketing

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