At Facebook’s F8 Developers Conference, Messenger Bots were announced. These bots are being developed by media corporations and retailers alike and very quickly so which raises the question as to what a Messenger bot is and how it’s useful to so many different types of companies. Even more important to know is what these bots mean for the average user, whether or not they will always be safe or can they present a potential threat if they are developed by anyone with malicious intent. Here’s a the answer to all that and more.
Messenger Bots are created using the new Messenger API that allows a bot to send and receive messages. The Messenger Bots are essentially chat bots that you can talk to from the Messenger app. The conversations will of course be different than those you have with your Facebook friends. These bots are meant to help you get information for example you can ask the CNN bot to tell you give you the current headline news and it will fetch them for you.
What Can Messenger Bots Do?
Messenger bots can help you make reservations at a restaurant, buy something online, or provide customer support. This means some support services can be made available 24/7 through a Messenger Bot. It is essentially a new, automated way for companies and users to interact with each other.
Messenger bots do what they’re built to do, for example, the CNN bot can get you the latest headlines but it can’t order you a pizza. If you want to do that you’ll have to find a pizzeria that’s developed a bot.
How Do I Use A Messenger Bot?
You can search for Messenger Bots from the search bar in the Messages app. Select the one you want to use and start talking. When you first start out with the bot, it will likely provide you some helping commands that you can give. The smarter ones will tell you how you can access a help menu that will list commands the bot can respond to.
Are Messenger Bots Safe?
Yes. Messenger bots are approved by Facebook before being made available inside the Messenger app so you can rest assured that they aren’t trying to steal your identity (or anything else). What’s more is a bot is tied to a Facebook page and a Facebook app making it all the more inconvenient to use for fraudulent activity. That said, don’t exchange private and/or personal information with a bot. Finally, because Messenger doesn’t support credit cards and purchasing just yet, anything you buy will likely be done via a browser with a bot aiding you so far as to place an order. If you want, you can always block a bot.
What’s The Point Of Messenger Bots?
Using Messenger bots means you will not have to leave the Messenger app when you want to do something such as look up the weather or read news. You can simply add a bot from your favorite news outlet and have it deliver news on demand. Sharing news is of course going to be easier too.
Messenger bots might also be able to revolutionize customer support. Facebook has become a popular platform for brands to interact with their customers. Many times customers will take a complaint to a brand’s Facebook page and have it resolved over chat. A Messenger bot makes it easier for you to get help. The quality of the support will vary but for smaller business that rely on Facebook for sales a bot is going to help them stay ‘online’ 24/7.
How Do I Find A Messenger Bot?
Use the search bar at the top inside the Messenger app or give Botalog a try. It’s a directory of bots that have been developed so far. Open it in your phone’s browser and tap ‘Chat within Messenger’ to add it.