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MANILA, Philippines – Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg announced at the F8 developer conference in San Francisco, California, on Tuesday, April 12 (April 13, Manila time) that it was launching a platform for its Messenger application that would allow developers to build bots inside the chat app.
The chat bots would allow a user to interact with a brand or service. For example, users can take advantage of a CNN chat bot to get of an overview of the world’s latest news.
A chat bot for 1-800-FLOWERS was also shown off, wherein Zuckerberg demonstrated ordering flowers from the chat bot, adding the ironic nature of the chat bot, as users will never have to call 1-800-FLOWERS anymore if they use Messenger to order roses.
According to The Verge, the tools will include “an API that allows developers to build chat bots for Messenger and chat widgets for the web.”
While it isn’t the first chat bot platform made available for a messaging service, the large userbase of Messenger – around 900 million monthly active users – makes the chat bot an intriguing new venture for the social media giant, provided bots take off and become popular among brands and consumers. – Rappler.com