B2B Payments

Facebook Messenger Updates Entice Businesses, Developers

Facebook wants more businesses to use its Messenger service to enhance their own customer experiences.

Reports Friday (July 28) said Facebook has added enhanced Natural Language Processing capabilities into its chat service with the launch of Messenger Platform 2.1; those updates are geared toward facilitating communication between business and customer, Facebook said in a blog post last week.

“We’re excited to launch Messenger Platform 2.1, which includes new and improved features that allow businesses to develop new ways to connect with their customers and enrich their conversational experiences on Messenger,” Facebook said.

As part of its effort to encourage business use of Messenger, Facebook announced new capabilities for developers to more easily use Messenger with their own solutions. They include built-in NLP for automated conversations. So far, the technology can identify “hello, bye, thanks, date & time, location, amount of money, phone number, email and a URL.”

“This is the first step in bringing NLP capabilities to all developers, enabling brands to scale their experiences on Messenger,” Facebook wrote.

The newest version of the chat technology also includes a handover protocol for Messenger to collaborate with other apps.

“Handover protocol makes it possible for multiple service providers to power a single Messenger experience,” the company said.

Facebook has also enhanced its payment capabilities within Messenger so developers using the technology can enable their business clients to support checkout from within Messenger when customers use the solution. Payments on Messenger, though, remains in beta in the U.S.

Facebook is looking to get more businesses to set up Messenger capabilities so they can work with their own customers, but online messaging and artificial intelligence chatbots are becoming more common in the B2B space as well.

Corporate accounting company Sage, for example, rolled out its chatbot this year for business customers to have administrative tasks handled, like expense tracking. Another company, Wyre, deployed chatbot technology this year that can support B2B payments within its platform.



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