Facebook advances chatbots on Messenger with new developer tools

Messenger joins Telegram, Slack, and other chat apps with official bot support

Facebook Messenger users will be able to talk with automated bots using a new set of developer tools the social networking company announced Tuesday during its F8 conference in San Francisco. 

The new Messenger Platform Send/Receive API will let developers build bots that can converse with users and do things like let them purchase items and get the latest news. It gives developers a set of user interface tools that will allow them to create buttons inside a Messenger conversation that guide users on what a bot can do, along with handling text conversation. 

The tools are available in beta to developers Tuesday, with companies like shopping app Spring, CNN and weather bot Poncho providing Facebook bots to users at launch. 

The news comes just weeks after Microsoft devoted a large chunk of its Build developer conference keynote to what its executives called "conversations as a platform." The company released a free toolkit to help developers make bots that work across a variety of platforms, including Messenger competitors GroupMe and Telegram. 

In addition, popular chat application Telegram just released an upgraded version of its bot creation tools on Tuesday, in what seemed to be a move to anticipate Facebook's announcement. 

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Facebook

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?