Facebook’s Messenger Platform launched, allows businesses to build bots

Released in beta, Messenger Platform allows businesses to build bots that can interact with customers or even handle purchases.


Facebook wants to ensure that Messenger is the new way that businesses can connect with people, pushing the platform and new bot support at today’s F8 annual developers conference.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke for the first 30 minutes of the opening keynote, outlining a broad vision of a world that’s better by being more connected. Messenger had perhaps the starring role in this, which got further detailed by others in following talks.

A new Messenger Platform was announced, allowing developers to create bots that can automatically interact with customers, even to perform such actions like purchasing shoes:

Facebook stressed that the bots won’t simply be “command-line” chatbots that have gotten attention recently but will be more featured and app-like:

Facebook also repeatedly positioned Messenger as a type of universal app that will prove useful in a world where people are suffering from app-fatigue, a platform that all businesses can easily use to connect with people.

Zuckerberg also said that Messenger, along with development of Live and 360 video, are top priorities over the coming five years:

Here are some of our follow-up stories out of the event:

Below, our live blog has more news, plus it touches on some of the Live and 360 video announcements.

(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)