Facebook Analytics for Apps Now Supports Messenger Bots; FbStart Program Welcomes Bot Developers

Facebook announced Monday that Analytics for Apps now support bots, and bot developers are welcome in its FbStart program.

If you still think chat bots for Messenger are a passing fad, think again: Facebook announced Monday that Analytics for Apps now support bots, and bot developers are welcome in its FbStart program.

Chat bots for Messenger debuted as part of the social network’s introduction of Messenger Platform at F8 in April, and Sridharan Ramanathan said in a blog post that more than 34,000 bots have been created for the messaging application since then.

Ramanathan said the addition of support for bots to Facebook’s Analytics for Apps marks the first “analytics solution for bots in the industry to provide actionable insights and transparency,” adding:

With this new free tool, you’ll be able to view reports on messages sent, messages received and people who block or unblock your app—without having to add additional code. In addition, you’ll have access to aggregated and anonymized demographic reports such as age, gender, education, interests, country, language and much more to help you better understand who’s engaging with your bots. For bots associated with multiple pages, you’ll be able to filter results at the page-level to view analytics for a specific page.

Businesses on the Messenger Platform can also use the app events API (application-programming interface) to log custom events for Analytics for Apps. In doing so, you’ll be able to gather deeper insights about how people are engaging with your bots. Some example use cases are:

  • A travel business can see how often people are transferred to a human agent.
  • A news publisher can see how frequently people click links back to their site.
  • An e-commerce business can build cross-platform funnels to see what percentage of people interact with its bot also make a purchase on its website or app.

Product manager Josh Twist said in an interview with SocialTimes:

If users block you, you can figure out why, at what stage and what happened right before they blocked you.

We believe that building a better product means making data-driven decisions—really understanding your user, not just who they are, but also how they behave. If you understand who your users are, that information is invaluable.

Twist said the addition of support for bots to Analytics for Apps will give developers insight into how people are using conversations on Messenger and at what points they are dropping out of those conversations, giving them a chance to adapt and change the language used within those chat bots.

He also shared the following example of how this data can be valuable to brands using bots:

One user saw gender bias in their application and used a segmentation tool to drill into most successful customers to find that females were much more likely to make purchases, but that kind of got saturated, and they made the product so friendly to that particular gender that they couldn’t grow.

AnalyticsForAppsBots

Facebook unveiled its FbStart program for fledgling developers at F8 in 2014, and Monday, it opened access to the FbStart program to Messenger Platform Developers. Ramanathan wrote:

Beginning today, Messenger Platform developers and businesses can apply for FbStart, Facebook’s global program to help early stage mobile startups build and grow their apps. Bots for Messenger developers and businesses accepted into FbStart will receive all of the program benefits, including Facebook ads credits and free tools and services from premier partners like Amazon, Dropbox and Stripe. To learn more about the program, visit www.fbstart.com.

Twist added in his interview with SocialTimes:

FbStart extended the envelope: It’s not just mobile apps anymore.

Readers: What are your thoughts on Facebook’s Monday-morning bot-related announcements?