Pinterest Pinned Itself to Facebook Messenger With Its New Bot and Chat Extension

Full Pin images will now be displayed in Facebook Messenger

Strange bedfellows? Facebook

Get ready to see more Pins in Facebook Messenger, as Pinterest Tuesday launched a Messenger bot and chat extension, while Facebook announced an updated sharing software-development kit, with Pinterest as its first user.

Facebook product manager Heath W. Black wrote in a blog post Tuesday that more than 1 million Pins are shared to Messenger every week, according to Pinterest, and the bot and chat extension will enable Pinterest users on Messenger “to collaborate and discuss ideas in a seamless and richer way.”

Pinterest engineering manager, growth Hayder Casey added in a blog post of his own that following Tuesday’s updates, full Pin images will be displayed in Messenger, and tapping on those pins will bring up “a richer, more integrated experience through the chat extension, which makes responding to ideas, sharing new Pins and accessing Pinterest search and Related Pins quicker and easier than ever.”

Casey said the Messenger chat extension experience was built on top of Pinterest’s mobile web platform, in React, and it was developed under the following requirements:

  • Performance: Users will be on the go, so it needs to load fast.
  • Viewing: Show the full image and make it simple to visit the article when available.
  • Ease of use: Enable people to browse and search related content on Pinterest and easily share it back to the conversation.

Black said people can use the bot to search for topics such as food, home and do-it-yourself and get recommendations directly from Pinterest, while the chat extension will enable them to share those ideas in their conversations on Messenger.

And Casey added on the bot, “This is an early exploration into AI [artificial intelligence] interactions for Pinterest, allowing users to engage with the product in a more natural and conversational way. Although this is a first step, we’re excited about the potential for future iterations.”

The chat extension will roll out to all Pinterest users with the English-language version of the app on iPhone and Android “over the coming days,” while the bot will be available across all platforms, mobile and web.

Facebook’s new sharing DSK for Messenger, which will begin rolling out within Pinterest’s mobile applications this week, “makes sharing content into Messenger from a native mobile app more media-rich, conversational and contextual,” Black wrote, adding:

  • Developers can now use message templates—such as the media template and generic template—for content being shared from within native mobile apps.
  • Clicking on content shared from an app to Messenger will open the app’s chat extension on webview, enabling people to continue the conversation without leaving Messenger.
  • Users will receive context on where shared content is coming from in the form of names and logos, and clicking on those will link to the content source’s Messenger bot or chat extension.

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.
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