Facebook has announced a bunch of new and upcoming features for Messenger, arguably chief among them being the ability to share bots directly within group chats via ‘Chat Extensions.’ Several brands are already available under this feature, including Spotify, which enables users to share a particular thing (a song, in Spotify’s case) with an entire chat stream of people. Facebook’s messaging app is also getting a new Discover tab, ‘Messenger Codes,’ and more.
Facebook announced the changes today. With the Messenger bot sharing tweak, users can now share bots in a group thread with content related to it. Facebook calls these Chat Extensions, and demonstrates how they work in the video below. The Spotify ‘extension,’ for example, enables users to pull up Spotify within Messenger, find a particular song, and then share that song as a playable Spotify song directly within the group chat.
As the moment, Chat Extensions for Spotify, Kayak, NBA, Food Network, OpenTable, TheScore, and Wall Street Journal are currently available, though Facebook says ‘many more’ are inbound, among them being Apple Music. As mentioned, Messenger is also adding a new ‘Discover’ tab, which is said to make it easier for users to find the bots they’ve recently used, to search for businesses, and more.
Some users in the U.S. are already seeing this tab arrive, but everyone else will have to wait a while. The new tab is joined by those aforementioned ‘Messenger Codes,’ a parametric QR code that can be used at events to easily connect visitors (and Messenger users) with the event’s related bot by scanning the code. Some users located in the U.S. are also now seeing a new Games tab located on the Messenger homescreen; the company is also introducing Rich Gameplay, which is described as turn-by-turn games.
SOURCE: Facebook Blog