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Facebook Unveils New Features For Messenger Chatbots

With the release of Messenger Platform 1.4 this week, Facebook introduced a variety of new features for Messenger chatbots, including a new menu structure that will change the way businesses utilize bots.

Launched a year ago, Messenger chatbots haven’t taken off like the social media site had hoped. While the feature was designed to help consumers do everything from booking a flight to checking the weather, Digital Trends reports that users often found chatting with the bots difficult.

With the new update, “the persistent menu now allows for multiple, nested items to be built in, giving people a way to find and select from all of the features that a bot offers,” Abby He, who works on Messenger Platform engineering for Facebook, said in a blog post. “Developers also have the option to hide the composer and create a simple Messenger experience without conversational capabilities.”

Some of the other features detailed in the release include additional social sharing capabilities, including the option for developers to customize the content that appears when people share a message from a bot and link a website to the bot itself. This will allow developers to provide additional information about the content to its shared recipients.

The customer matching feature has also been upgraded. He explains that the site is “now enabling businesses to submit full names, in conjunction with customer phone numbers, to increase matching accuracy. Messages sent via customer matching will continue to show up as Message Requests, giving people the option to open up the incoming thread. SMS customers who previously received text-centric, limited, opt-in content can now see richer content in Messenger from the brands they already interact with once they accept the Message Request.”

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