Facebook Messenger rolls out improvements to chat bots

Back in April, Facebook announced it was opening up its Messenger service with an API and tools to create chat bots. While it's still not clear just how useful mobile users are finding these bots, it's obvious that developers think they are loved — or at least love making them — as there's now over 11,000 bots available on the platform. With that much saturation, Facebook needs to be on the ball about making sure bots are organized and easy to use. Thankfully an update with that in mind has been released.

First among the changes are the ability for users to review bots and leave feedback for the developers, similar to how they would for apps. There's also a new interface in form of "quick reply" buttons that offer responses in context with the bot's last message. This saves the user time from having to type each reply, and speeds up conversations on the whole.

Similarly, there's also an option to display a "persistent menu" within the window. This will display all of a bot's text commands at glance, helpful for when users can't remember one or are still learning what a bot is capable of.

Next is the ability to link Messenger profiles with users' customer accounts for various online retailers or banks, for example. This would allow the bot to offer personalized messages and service with regard to what they do. Imagine asking for your account balance or replacing your last online order.

Lastly, bots will now be able to access GIFs, audio, video, and other file types, sending and replying with them in conversations. Facebook has also launched a new Messenger blog aimed at developers, where it will post tips and updates on the platform, along with insight on brands that have found success with their bots.

SOURCE Facebook