Facebook introduced chatbots on Messenger three months ago, and the social network has shared today that over 11,000 bots are active on the messaging service. The Messenger Platform has picked up an update that adds a slew of new features to bots, such as a persistent menu that lists a bot's commands, quick replies, ability to respond with GIFs, audio, video, and other files, and a rating system to provide feedback to bot developers.

Facebook Messenger chatbots

In a blog post, Facebook detailed the changes:

  • People can now provide a star rating and open text feedback for bot developers. Ratings and reviews are currently shared with only the bot developer.
  • 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. They include 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.
  • Persistent menu: The navigation for your bot with support for up to five actions. This eliminates the need for people to remember text commands and provides a great way to restart the flow or invoke settings. This will help with bot re-engagement and consistency.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Over 23,000 developers have signed up to make bots using the Wit.ai engine, which means that you'll see even more bots making their way to Messenger in the future. Facebook also has a dedicated website that lets businesses and developers learn more about how to build and grow chatbots.

Do you guys use chatbots on Messenger? If so, how do you like the experience?