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Facebook's Next Big Thing? Bots

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Facebook Inc. (FB) has unveiled Messenger 2.0 at its annual F8 conference for software developers making products for Facebook platforms.

Last year, David Marcus, vice president, unveiled the initial Messenger Platform, which was created to enable businesses and third-party developers to make their own web robot or bot, an application to run automated tasks.

Marcus said that there are now 100,000 monthly active bots on the platform, up from 33,000 in September 2016.

"From translation bots helping refugees, to bots that answer health questions, opportunities to support causes and even experiences that assist students with homework - the creativity, ingenuity and vision of our bot developer community has been awesome," Marcus said.

Facebook Messenger currently has 1.2 billion users, while two billion messages are now sent between business and people on Messenger every month. Marcus noted that 20 million out of 65 million business pages on Facebook are now responding to consumer queries on Messenger every month.

On Tuesday, Facebook Messenger introduced chat extensions that will enable multiple people to chat with the same business at the same time. This will enable a person to use Spotify to share music directly into a thread, make dinner reservations on Open Table, or share highlights from NBA games, all without leaving the Messenger app.

The Messenger platform now includes a discover tab that will allows people to search for chat bots on Messenger. New parametric QR codes that can be scanned in the Messenger camera will help people at events like basketball games and concerts.

Messenger's AI assistant, called "M," can now make suggestions in conversations, including fun stickers to say "thank you," a reminder to meet up with a friend, or for sending or requesting payments.

With over 1.5 billion games played in just the last 90 days, Facebook Messenger is adding some additional product features like game bots and Rich Gameplay.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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