Mark Zuckerberg today announced that Facebook Messenger will be open to businesses and pages, allowing them to build customised chatbots for customers to interact with. You can do anything from ask a business chatbot a question to ordering products.
“We think you should just be able to message a business the same way that you message a friend,” Mr Zuckerberg said. He recognised that this will make it much easier for people to contact businesses and receive a speedy response.
Facebook’s aim is to make the chatbots as life-like as possible that can learn what people want and adapt their behaviour accordingly.
“Our goal with artificial intelligence is to build systems that are better than people at perception — seeing, hearing, language and so on,” Mr Zuckerberg said.
This will allow Messenger users to bypass mobile shopping sites and spend more of their time on what will become a one-stop-app. The move to chatbots has been brought about by the strong competition in the messaging app field. WhatsApp, Messenger’s biggest competitor, currently has a billion users, while Messenger has 900 million users.