The Messenger Platform team works hard to build tools for developers, who in turn create amazing experiences for end-users. As we prepare to unveil even more tools at F8 2017, we had the chance to switch places with our developers and actually build a bot ourselves!
The goal we set for the Messenger F8 Bot was to build a useful experience for attendees, highlighting the many features on our platform. The F8 website and the F8 app (in IOS and Android) already share schedules, maps and videos, so we were looking to build a differentiated experience, focusing on the following features:
- Leverage natural language processing to answer common questions about the conference
- Provide updates and notifications for upcoming Messenger sessions
- Make it easier for attendees to connect with each other at the conference
Over the course of a few weeks, we leveraged the wit.ai bot engine to build a comprehensive list of questions that could be asked by attendees, refined the bot experience by creating additional variations, and threw in a couple of “easter eggs” for fun.
Of course, a bot built by Messenger wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t include something created at one of our hackathons—a flow that lets attendees connect. We also included a few “extras”. In addition to giving people relevant content after each Messenger session they attend, the bot will also offer ways to win cool swag, unlock early access to Messenger features, and meet members of the Messenger leadership team.
Developing on top of our own product was a lot of fun, and also quite a humbling experience. We came out of the exercise with even more knowledge for our developers and we hope our bot will be as successful as it was fun to build!
The Messenger F8 Bot goes live the morning of April 18. Connect with it at m.me/messengerF8bot.