Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has added some new features to Messenger as part of the company’s goal of aligning the Messenger platform for communication with chatbots and apps.
The Messenger home screen now has a different look. It displays a list of friends that are online and messages that are yet to be replied to, birthday reminders and favorite contacts. The introduction of the new feature follows the previous announcement made a week ago where the company introduced the ability to integrate regular SMS into the Messenger app.
Messenger currently has more than 900 million users, and it is expected to receive more once chatbots become mainstream. David Marcus, vice president of messaging at Facebook, believes that bots mark the dawn of a new age for app usage as people shift out of an era where apps and websites had been trending. Ted Livingston, founder of Kik, believes that bots present huge opportunities for the developer, business and consumer communities. Livingstone stated that apps might soon eliminate the need for browsers.
So far, more than 10,000 bots are available on the Messenger bot platform which was launched in April. Marcus believes that 2016 is a great year for Messenger because it is the year that will define the direction of the Messenger app. The VP stated that the messaging app would receive a major overhaul that will change its entire appearance. These changes are aimed at simplifying real-time communications between users and providing useful information in a timely manner.
During an interview session with Time, Marcus revealed that some of the recent changes in the appearance of Messenger’s home screen were geared towards making the Messenger platform more engaging for users. He believes that it is easier to communicate to people when they are online rather than leaving a message which will probably not be replied to on time.