Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has announced the official launch of chatbots for its Messenger platform which will render calling businesses obsolete.
The chatbots will allow users to interact with businesses directly through the Messenger app. This means users will be able to hold conversations with businesses in the same way they chat with friends. The chatbots will make it easier for brands to avoid having to come up with complex communication systems. The Messenger network will offer its reliable network to these businesses. Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) stated that bots are the future of apps.
David Marcus, VP of Messaging Products at Facebook told CNNMoney that most people think of bots as geeky, but the company has a different perspective about them. Facebook’s idea is to transform Messenger into a multipurpose app where users can carry out different tasks from the same app. Marcus gave an example of printing a photo and booking a restaurant in the same app.
Facebook launched bots for Messenger with a few partners on board including CNN, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Co (NYSE:HPE) and a shopping app called Spring. HP has a tool that allows users to print a photo through Messenger. Users have to send the photo to the bot which then responds in a conversation and provides printing options. Photos can be sent anywhere in the world, but users have to configure their devices to connect with personal printers.
David Parry, the manager for HP Innovation, stated that bots are currently in their early stages. He also added that in the future they will most likely be engineered to tackle complex administrative tasks. He stated that the AI will also have the ability to anticipate the needs of the client and engage more actively.
The bots will be used to provide user guide information through structured messages. They will achieve this by providing information through URLs, images, titles and even website suggestions. Chatbots, therefore, have the potential to change how people interact with businesses.