Facebook is working hard to turn its Messenger app into a platform for doing all sorts of useful things beyond mere message exchange between friends.
According to a report Friday by TechCrunch, the company is planning on enabling developers to add customer service chatbots and live chat functionality to Messenger and has already introduced Live Chat APIs for Messenger.
A presentation give to select Messenger chatbot developers mentions something called “Structure Messages”, which are basically automated responses that may include a title, image, a description, a URL and calls to action such as visiting a website, viewing an e-commerce order or making a restaurant reservation.
“Chatbot providers will help businesses build automated response systems for fielding messages from potential customers,” notes the article.
Additional capabilities could be in the works as well, like plug-ins for “Message Us”-style contact buttons for websites for quick interactions with a human support agent via Messenger.
These features will be formally announced at detailed at Facebook’s F8 conference next week, as per TechCrunch’s sources.
Messenger recently gained a Transportation tab allowing users to hail an Uber without leaving their conversations. Last month, the application introduced its first airline bot for browsing flight information right within Messenger.
Facebook is also planning to soon let brands send ads as messages within Messenger. The messaging application yesterday passed 900 million monthly active users and announced Snapchat-like profile codes and vanity URLs.
Moreover, Marketing Land has it on good authority that news publishers may soon be permitted to distribute their content through Messenger. And last but not least, Facebook is reportedly working on a native Messenger for Mac app.
Pictured above: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines airline bot in Messenger.