Facebook Messenger now boasts 11 000 bots, announces incoming updates

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Facebook’s Messenger is a bit of a misleading name — it’s no longer just a messenger. Facebook would like to think of it as a fully-fledged bot-station that allows users to book flights and even order pizza.

On that note, the company’s adding a few more tweaks to the system.

Users can now rate bots as they would for apps on any app store. This will bring a degree of quality control to its now 11 000-strong bot store. Other additions include persistent menus for bots, which “eliminates the need for people to remember text commands and provides a great way to restart the flow or invoke settings,” explains Facebook.

A new quick-reply system also lands, which will make it easier for businesses to automate responses to potential bot users. Nifty.

Related: Facebook Messenger out to kill the phone number

And if you’re wondering why Facebook‘s spending so much time on Messenger’s bot programme, it’s largely thanks to its success to date.

“Since the launch of the Messenger platform, over 11 000 bots have launched on Messenger and over 23 000 developers have signed up for Wit.ai’s Bot Engine,” Facebook notes..

“We’ve also been listening closely to feedback and learning alongside our partners. We’re really committed to this platform and have just added some great new features and tools for people building bots to use.”

With that said, Facebook Messenger’s bot system remains clunky and not very user-friendly. Searching for bots within Messenger requires prior knowledge of the name of specific bots. There are no “Most Popular” listings as yet. For that, users are instead relying on other services like Botlist. That’s not exactly a user-friendly system for bot beginners.

Nevertheless, check out the full list of changes here.



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