Facebook To Add Robots To Its Messenger App

by CXOtoday News Desk    Apr 11, 2016

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at a March developer conference Image Courtesy AP

Social media giant Facebook has announced to add a host of robots to its messenger app. According to media reports, Facebook will announce a new Messenger chatbot at the upcoming F8 conference. 

The new addition is expected to add a new range of features to Facebook’s messenger, including a “secret chats” options. The new feature “Bots” will help users order products, or return them, by just speaking to a robot. That robotic consumer service rep would be able to send back programmed replies - taking users through the entire process of returning a product that they do not like. 

The robots could also include tools like push notifications from businesses to tell people that products are back in stock, or from news organisations to tell people about breaking stories.

But many businesses cannott program such bots themselves, and so Facebook is expected to announce a special scheme that will let companies borrow Facebook’s robot power for its own customer service purposes. It could also launch a platform that will allow companies that want chatbots to connect with those that build them, through Facebook.

According to the company, nearly 900 million people are using its direct message feature and there are more than one billion messages sent between people and businesses on messenger each month. This new feature is expected to help businesses connect with users and promote their products and services more directly.

Facebook’s other messaging app WhatsApp reached 900 million users in September and 1 billion in February. Facebook is not asking users for any sort of subscription or per-message fee for operating on the platform. However, the company could still make money from chatbots and live chat customer support.

According to Activate report, about 2.5 billion people have registered to use at least one messaging app globally, a technology and strategy consulting firm. The number is expected to reach 3.6 billion in 2018.