Facebook announced Messenger Platform 2.1 yesterday and something that has caught everyone’s attention is that it features an in-built natural language processing tool to help in automated responses. The Natural Language Processing (NLT) tool will be provided by Wit.ai which was acquired by Facebook back in 2015 and what the bot will do is to detect common words like “thanks”, “bye” phone number in the chat, monetary figures, email address and once determined, a repsonse can be carried out on your behalf to the other party in the chat. In a blog post,
Facebook said “This is the first step in bringing NLP capabilities to all developers, enabling brands to scale their experiences on Messenger.”
On this while speaking to a group of reporters at Facebook’s headquarters, David Marcus who leads the Messenger team said;
“We have more and more natural language interactions inside of messenger and we want to help third party developers, existing enterprise and customer support, and service centers automate a lot of those interactions, and a big, big requirement to automation is understanding what people are asking. So what we’re doing right now is we have built-in NLP inside of the Send/Receive API that developers here are using, which means that you will get from the API the intent extraction that you need to automate responses, so it’s a big, big deal. It’s a little geeky, but it actually will enable automation at scale.”
The other thing coming to the new Mesenger 2.1 is seamless payments which they say is “a new SDK designed to make the Messenger webview payment process easier and more efficient for people. Now, customers can pay using a one step process through Messenger webview.” But let me add that this feature was initially launched in the US and it looks like Facebook is not just ready yet to introduce this to other parts anytime soon.
Other new features coming to Messenger include a handover protocol that will transfer conversations from bots to humans. “The handover protocol enables businesses to create multiple experiences within a single bot – for example a business can use this to move seamlessly from an automated (bot) to a one-to-one (human) conversation.” It is now available globally in open beta as with other features.
There are now more buttons within the app too which means in addition to the currently available “Send Message” CTA, businesses and developers can select from the following options: Shop Now, Get Support, Get Updates, Play Now and Get Started.