Mere weeks after introducing the Facebook Live update, Facebook has dropped more big news: they're adding "chat bots" to their Messenger platform. If you're wondering how to use chat bots on Facebook, you're far from alone. Mark Zuckerberg introduced the idea of chat bots Tuesday at f8, Facebook's annual conference for software developers in San Francisco, and gave the world a brief rundown of exactly what we can expect: the platform will let you directly interact with businesses over Messenger, and get updates from them, too.
"We think you should message a business just the way you would message a friend," said Mark Zuckerberg at the conference.
In order to make this a reality, Facebook has helped outfit the millions of businesses connected to its platform with the capability to use "chat bots" to interact with customers. What's a chat bot, you may be wondering? They're interactive artificial intelligence that is meant to have the feel of talking to an actual human representative. Odds are you've already "spoken" to a chat bot before, looking for help in places like banking sites or airline flights.
Unlike ordinary customer help bots, though, these have the ability to connect you to online services — things from flower delivery to dry cleaning to good old-fashioned lazy pizza ordering. It has quite literally taken out the human element of business interactions. You never have to worry about talking to another life form again!
So how do you use chat bots? It's just as simple as messaging a business through the app the ordinary way, only now it will prompt you specific questions to tailor your consumer experience. Here's an example from Facebook:
Once you reach the page, it will get into the specifics of what you need.
It's basically like online shopping, way more personalized.
And the new messaging platform won't just allow for easier shopping and tracking. It will let you pin drop map locations to instantly send friends directions to you the way you can over text, check the weather, and get updates from businesses relevant to your interests. The update should be functional as of today, so make sure you've gone to the app store and updated your Facebook app to the latest version. In the meantime, RIP, my bank account ... it just got dangerously easy to buy new swag.
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