Messenger Platform 2.1 Brings New Tools to Enrich Conversations

Since announcing Messenger Platform 2.0 in April of this year, we’ve received great feedback from businesses and developers alike. While we’re pleased with the progress, we’re still continuing to listen to our business partners and our developer community on how we can make Messenger even better.

With that in mind, we’re excited to launch Messenger Platform 2.1, which includes new and improved features that allow businesses to develop new ways to connect with their customers and enrich their conversational experiences on Messenger.

To assist in creating these types of experiences the Messenger Platform 2.1 release offers:

New tools for developers to build valuable Messenger experiences and drive business objectives:

  • Built-in NLP to enhance automated conversations: This is a simple way for developers to incorporate NLP into their bots. When Built-in NLP is enabled it automatically detects meaning and information in the text of messages that a user sends, before it gets passed to the bot. This first version can detect the following entities: hello, bye, thanks, date & time, location, amount of money, phone number, email and a URL. This is the first step in bringing NLP capabilities to all developers, enabling brands to scale their experiences on Messenger.
  • Handover protocol to enable cross app collaboration within a single Messenger experience: The handover protocol enables businesses to create multiple experiences within a single bot – for example a business can use this to move seamlessly from an automated (bot) to a one-to-one (human) conversation. This allows customers to obtain quick answers to common questions through automation, and then receive more personalized customer support from live agents. Handover protocol makes it possible for multiple service providers to power a single Messenger experience. As part of Platform 2.1, handover protocol is now available globally as an open beta. Sephora will be implementing handover protocol soon, incorporating experiences from Assi.st and Sprinklr. See here to get started.

Additional features to improve the customer experience:

  • Seamless payments flow: Messenger Platform 2.1 makes payments easier to setup and more seamless for people to checkout. Today, we’re launching a new SDK designed to make the Messenger webview payment process easier and more efficient for people. Now, customers can pay using a one step process through Messenger webview. Payments on Messenger is still in beta and available in the US only. See here to learn more.

Expanded set of Facebook Page buttons for Messenger: Today, we are launching five new Call to Action (CTA) buttons that businesses and developers can add to their Page to drive people to their Messenger experience. In addition to the currently available “Send Message” CTA, businesses and developers can select from the following options: Shop Now, Get Support, Get Updates, Play Now and Get Started. These descriptive CTA options let people know what to expect when they start a conversation with a business.

 

  • Desktop support for Extensions SDK: This new feature will extend functionality across mobile and web, creating a consistent experience across devices. Now, features like user ID and sharing that used to only be accessible on mobile will be available on desktop as well. This also provides developers with an easier way to test and debug when implementing webview and chat extensions.

And more…

  • Update to customer matching API: Partners will now be able to see if there is a match prior to sending a message to a phone number, and optionally a name via the API. Note: This is currently available in limited release for select businesses in the U.S. To learn more contact your Facebook partner manager or representative.
  • Enabling Chat Extensions for Global Pages: Platform 2.0 introduced a way for businesses to build collaborative social experiences using the webview and Chat Extension – like Spotify collaborative playlists. However, businesses that used Global Pages were unable to take advantage of this capability if users in the thread were in different regions. We have resolved this, and now businesses that use Global Pages will be able to build collaborative social experiences for people connecting across the world. Dev Docs
  • Policy enforcement notifications: Developers can now receive notifications when their bot has been blocked or policy issues arise. More information here.

For more details on Messenger Platform 2.1 view the full changelog for this update and documentation for the Messenger Platform.

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