Today is the second day of F8, Facebook’s annual developer conference, and we’ve already seen plenty to be excited about (including the mind-blowing Facebook Yellow). Yesterday, news came out of the latest development in Facebook’s ever-popular Messenger app: bots. Yes, in the very near future you’ll be able to use Messenger to access automatic updates on things like weather and news. Perhaps more importantly, you’ll be able to contact businesses about placing orders.
As Facebook was quick to point out, Messenger is a runaway success. It was the fastest-growing app in the country last year, and, according to ComScore, the third most popular app (though Facebook claims it was second on iOS). But there’s always room for more growth, and Facebook plans to grow Messenger into a customer service platform people can use to buy sneakers and check shipping receipts, among other things.
Companies can develop their own bot and send it in to Facebook for approval, and many are already listed as available on Botlist — including CNN and the Wall Street Journal, for all you serious news junkies. Companies with bots in development include Bank of America, Expedia and eBay, so get ready to have your mind blown and your Facebook Messenger experience completely changed.
If you don’t like the idea of communicating with bots, however, Facebook still wants you to feel comfortable. From the company’s official release regarding bots: “People will be able to mute and block communications that they don’t want to receive. There are also strict policies for developers and businesses to uphold, and we will have review processes to ensure we carefully evaluate how our community is responding.”
What are you most excited to do with Facebook Messenger’s bots? Let us know on Twitter @BritandCo!
(Photos via Facebook Newsroom + iStock)