We’ve got some top secret info that was leaked – even though it is only a few days before it will be announced at the F8 conference, it is still exciting.
The story? Since most businesses don’t have the resources or tech skills to build chatbots themselves, Facebook wants them on Messenger. Facebook is giving developers API tools to build chatbots and Live Chat web plug-ins for business clients. However, Facebook doesn’t provide any distinction, badge or separate directory for partners that can specifically assist with messaging.
A specific Messenger platform partner program hasn’t been named yet, but we’re thinking that it’s still expected to refer businesses to Messenger developers and a more official partner program will come later.
We do know for certain that Facebook has been working with two types of B2B developers, which overlap. This is part of Messenger’s huge expansion for connecting potential customers with businesses via chat.
Chatbot providers will help businesses build automated response systems for fielding messages from potential customers. Instead of having to develop the complex technologies themselves or fumble around the Internet trying to find someone who can help, they’ll be able to easily find ones Facebook’s given the thumbs-up.
Facebook has also been working with Live Chat developers that can build plug-ins for “Message Us”-style contact buttons for websites. This way, instead of pushing customers to email them or calling them on the phone, they can interact with a human support agent over Messenger chat – much quicker and more simple. When tapped, the Live Chat buttons will bounce users over to the Messenger app on mobile or Messenger.com on the web. Users should be able to see read receipts and “typing…” indicators, depending on how the integrations are built with Facebook’s Chat SDK and various APIs.
Currently, Facebook isn’t charging developers any sort of subscription or per-message feed for operating on the platform. However, Facebook could still make money from chatbots and live chat customer support.
We’ll find out more at F8!