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Chatbots land at Facebook's messaging app Messenger

SAN FRANCISCO, April 13 — US social networking service Facebook said Tuesday that it was bringing chatbots into its popular messaging app to allow users to interact with businesses and get updates from them.

At its annual developer conference held in San Francisco, California, the company showed that with chatbots, an interactive software powered by artificial intelligence and with human help, users of its Messenger service can send messages to businesses just like they do to their friends and get things done.

"To order flowers on 1-800-Flowers, you never have to call 1-800-flowers again," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg said during the demonstration.

Messenger users now can try about a half dozen chatbots on this platform and more are expected to come soon.

According to Facebook, there have been more than 50 million businesses on Messenger, which boasts 900 million monthly active users. The company said it is aiming to provide great valuable experiences for users and added value for businesses.

Facebook also released a set of tools to allow software developers to create chatbots for the Messenger in partnership with businesses.

While being new to the US social media's messaging app, chatbots have already been incorporated in some Asian popular messaging services, such as China's Wechat. Other tech giants like Microsoft and Google are also working to bring this technology to their platforms.

Zuckerburg said that Facebook will focus on connectivity, artificial intelligence and augmented reality over the next 10 years. (PNA/Xinhua)


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