Developer News
Bots for Messenger: New Blog, Features, and More

Every month, over 900 million people around the world communicate with friends, families and businesses on Messenger. We launched the Messenger platform over two months ago to enable richer, more interactive conversations between businesses and people.

Since the launch of the Messenger platform, over 11,000 bots have launched on Messenger and over 23,000 developers have signed up for Wit.ai's bot engine. Some highlights include:

  • Zootopia: Disney launched a bot for the Home Entertainment release of Zootopia, allowing fans to chat with the movie's lead character, Officer Judy Hopps. This Messenger experience extended the story to the real world by enlisting fans to help solve multiple ZPD (Zootopia Police Department) cases. Millions of messages were sent, with an average chat duration time of several minutes.
  • NBA: NBA’s bot on Messenger was focused on providing fans instant access to highlights of the NBA finals and draft. The bot was loved by NBA fans, with over 350k interactions during the NBA Finals 2016 and NBA Draft 2016.
  • Trim: Personal-finance company Trim built their subscription finding and canceling service exclusively on Messenger, because they could reach their customers on any device while only building for a single platform.
  • Call of Duty: The Call of Duty bot included a virtual mission in the game and through Messenger that gave clues about the upcoming release of the next Call of Duty video game. The bot exchanged over 6 million chats with fans in its first 24 hours online.
  • Shopify: Shopify offers the platform components needed for its merchants to send post-sale receipts and shipping updates in Messenger. More than 16,000 Shopify merchants offer this service to their customers, with nearly 200,000 order status updates sent every single day.

We've learned from these success stories and recently released a set of guidelines for building and growing your bot. We're also launching a new blog, www.messengerblog.com, so you can stay up to date with Messenger Platform news.

Today, we're happy to share some developments we've been working on to improve experiences for people and businesses.

More Interactivity: Quick Replies and Persistent Menu

When we launched bots we gave businesses the option to create interactive experiences with call to action buttons and the carousel layout. After receiving great feedback on how to manage conversations, set expectations, and restart the conversation, we're excited to announce quick replies and persistent menu.

Quick replies Quick replies offer a more guided experience for people as they interact with your bot, which helps set expectations on what the bot can do. They include up to ten dynamic buttons that directly align with the most recent message sent by the business - making it easier to have an automated conversation with people. They allow for simple state management for developers — no need to manage button taps from ten messages ago — and make chat history cleaner, by only showing the selected responses.

Persistent menu

Most bots have a common “menu” or “settings” option, and we are now making this more consistent and easier to access with the launch of persistent menu. This eliminates the need for people to remember text commands and provides a great way to restart the flow. The menu can be accessed by an icon in the message composer, and will support up to five custom actions.

GIFs, Audio, and Video

Get your brand's personality across by sending a variety of content types. You can now send GIFs, audio, video, and other files to people using your bot in Messenger. Videos play natively in Messenger.

Account linking

We’re launching a secure protocol for businesses to connect their customers’ accounts with Messenger accounts, enabling a deeper and more personal experience. People will have to opt in to this experience.

More Control: Manage / Mute / Ratings

Now, people have even more ways to optimize their experiences with bots in Messenger. People can choose to mute a bot just like they can mute a conversation with their friends and they can also provide a star rating and feedback for bot developers. Ratings and reviews are currently shared with only the bot developer through a dashboard in developers.facebook.com and via email.

Full changelog for this update and documentation for the Messenger platform.

You can access even more news about the Messenger platform by visiting www.messengerblog.com.