Since the launch of the Messenger Platform in April of this year, over 11,000 bots have launched. Today, we’re happy to share some new developments we’ve been working on to improve experiences for people and businesses on the Messenger Platform.
Quick replies offer a more guided experience for people as they interact with your bot, which helps set expectations on what the bot can do. It includes up to ten dynamic buttons that directly align with the most recent message sent by the business – making it easier to have an automated conversation with people. They allow for simple state management for developers — no need to manage button taps from ten messages ago — and make chat history cleaner, by only showing the selected responses.
Most bots have a common “menu” or “settings” option, and we are now making this more consistent and easier to access with the launch of persistent menu. This eliminates the need for people to remember text commands and provides a great way to restart the flow. The menu can be accessed by an icon in the message composer, and will support up to five custom actions.
Get your brand’s personality across by sending a variety of content types. You can now send GIFs, audio, video, and other files to people using your bot in Messenger. Videos and audio clips play natively in Messenger.
We’re launching a secure protocol for businesses to connect their customers’ accounts with Messenger accounts, enabling a deeper and more personal experience. People will have to opt in to this experience.
More Control: Manage / Mute / Ratings
Now, people have even more ways to optimize their experiences with bots in Messenger. People can choose to mute a bot just like they can mute a conversation with their friends and they can also provide a star rating and feedback for bot developers. Ratings and reviews are currently shared with only the bot developer through a dashboard in developers.facebook.com (http://developers.facebook.com/) and via email.
New Event Types, Fields, Actions, and More
- New Event: Message_Echoes – With echo, every bot connected to a page can also receive all messages sent by the page to users. This is useful when multiple bots are connected to the same page.
- New Event: Message_Reads – The bot gets a notification when someone reads their message.
- New Field: App_Id – This app_id field is added to Message_Echoes automatically, so every bot connected to a page would not only be able to see the content sent by other bots, but also know which bot sent that content.
- New Field: Metadata – Similar functionality as app_id, but includes custom content sent by the bot developer with each message.
- Sender Actions: Read receipts and typing indicators – Developers can now display that their bot has read a message or is typing a message.
- New thread setting: An API to set the Greeting Text – Now developers can directly set the Greeting Text using the thread settings API.
- New button type: phone_number – Button that invokes the native phone dialer to call the phone number associated with the button when someone taps on it.
- Browser close feature: Now developers can close the current browser window by redirecting to messenger.com/closeWindow.