More big things have just come to Facebook Messenger and its native virtual assistant chatbot M, the company said at the ongoing F8 developer conference.
Soon after rolling out group payment capabilities in its Messenger app for U.S. users, the social media giant has announced the addition of a whole host of additional functions including support for QR codes, food delivery and upgrades to games.
First up, Messenger now registers QR codes. At the same time, the social media giant is launching tools to enable businesses to generate QR codes for Messenger as well as support for smart supplies, said TechCrunch.
On the gaming end, Facebook announced that Messenger is getting its own Games tab, which will give users access to game bots as well as turn-by-turn games. The app is already a popular gaming platform. In the past 90 days, Facebook said users have played a total of 1.5 billion games in Messenger.
On the food delivery end, the addition comes as part of M's suggestions feature, which allows the chatbot to detects language that might indicate a need for assistance or integrated services — calling an Uber, sharing location, sending reminders, etc.
Now, that list includes recognizing via text when messengers are hungry and suggesting they order food via Delivery.com.
Despite the fact that M is scanning user generated text for cues, Facebook says that the content of messages will remain private and not be used for targeted advertisement.
The new Messenger features are another way Facebook is scheming to make the social network and its constituent apps the central hub of the internet. The more use cases, bells and whistles, the more reason for users to come back. At least, that's the hope.
And the more frequent users there are accessing Messenger, the more attractive the ad space becomes for marketers.