Facebook has woken up to the fact that it needs to do more when it comes to making bots more attractive to businesses and every user. The essence of creating a product is to get people using it; if this fails, there is a need to go back to the drawing board and probably start all over again. Going back to the drawing board is similar to what Facebook is doing as it announces a slew of updates to Messenger on Tuesday.
At Facebook’s annual developer conference last year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled his company’s grand vision for the future of its Messenger communications platform: chat bots.
Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg had revealed the company’s plans for Messenger, which recently clocked more than 1.2 billion users, in last year’s developer conference. Zuckerberg did not mince words when he emphasized just how important chat bots have become and the role they will play in the future. In his view, users should be able to chat with businesses same way they do when they send messages to friends. Zuckerberg was speaking to developers that attended last year’s conference.
Chat bots didn’t quite live to the hype around them, and Facebook now thinks it’s time to chart a new course in order to encourage high usage.
At its developer conference on Tuesday, Facebook announced a slew of updates to Messenger. There is a change of plans as far as bots and Messenger are concerned—conversation will no longer be focused on human-to-bots. Bots, according to Facebook’s new update, will now lurk in the background of the conversations real users are having on Messenger. This time around, bots will only show up when assistance is needed from people who use Messenger. For example, chat bots will show up in situations when users need to book flights or play a particular song.
“Our goal was never to put bots out there and just have bots,” Messenger’s head of product, Stan Chudnovsky, told Business Insider during a recent interview. “There was some sort of miss in communication, where we spent a lot of time talking to everybody about all of the things we are doing, but we haven’t spent much time talking about why we are doing that.”
A new discovery tab has also been added by Facebook to enable people on Messenger find businesses that can be directly contacted on the chat app. For game lovers, there is a new tab aimed at helping people entertain themselves with lightweight games within the app.
Facebook recently announced a significant milestone as Messenger clocked 1.2 billion monthly active users. This is a significant achievement, considering the fact that the chat app added 200 million users; up from its 1 billion users eight months ago. What makes this most interesting is the fact that Messenger also increased engagement in terms of messages sent per active user.
Messenger’s growth can be traced to various changes and additions made to the app by Facebook. In recent weeks, some popular features from Snapchat and other chat apps have been added to Messenger. Coupled with the app’s hugely impressive network base, it didn’t come as a surprise that things are on the high.