F8 Speculation: Facebook Messenger Chat Bots, Web Plugins for Businesses

Facebook’s F8 global developers conference is traditionally the source of major product announcements, and the early speculation prior to next week’s event is focused on Messenger.

Facebook’s F8 global developers conference is traditionally the source of major product announcements, and the early speculation prior to next week’s event is focused on Messenger.

Josh Constine and Steve O’Hear of TechCrunch obtained a presentation that Facebook shared with potential chat bot developers for Messenger, and they shared their findings.

Rather than creating them itself, Facebook is apparently providing developers with application-programming interfaces and other tools to build chat bots and live chat web plugins for use by businesses on Messenger.

According to Constine and O’Hear, the chat bots will respond to users’ messages to brands with what Facebook is calling Structured Messages, which will contain titles, images, descriptions, URLs and calls to action, similar to Messenger’s already existing integrations with Uber and KLM.

As for the live chat developers, Constine and O’Hear reported that they are working on “Message Us” buttons for websites, which will enable visitors to those sites to communicate with company representatives via Messenger.

According to Constine and O’Hear, users would be able to see read receipts and indicators that the representatives are responding to their messages, assuming the buttons are developed using Facebook’s chat software-development kit and APIs.

Any Messenger-related announcements at F8 would come on the heels of a host of business-related features for the application announced by Facebook Thursday.

Readers: What do you think of the potential for businesses to get more involved with Facebook Messenger?

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