How to use facebook messenger bots
Just recently, Facebook released a series of new applications throughout the entire platform. One of those interesting things were “bots.” What is a Facebook messenger bot?
Usually a bot is one of those little spiders or an indexing function of Google that sends out these little technological spiders, if you like, to go check out websites. But these bots are actually something that has changed the way Messenger on Facebook is working.
I want to show you an example of what it looks like. Realistically, the bots are going to change the way we use Messenger because companies now can use bots — they’re calling them “bots” — inside Messenger, to do a certain number of things.
There’s all sorts of things you can do such as ordering flowers, get notifications about your bank account, You can go and order food from Burger King or even order Uber taxis. You can get all sorts of business applications connected to each other like SalesForce and ZenDesk for instance.
Many of these interactions right now are actually limited, although it depends on the company and what they’ve enabled the bots to do. Facebook have been working with a number of companies for a little while to make sure that the release of these initial bots are actually good and beneficial for most people. Currently there are 33 companies, like CNN and Bank of America, Staples, that let you use the bots.
So let’s dig in and check these out. Let’s say that we’re looking at CNN bot. We’re going to go and check out what CNN does and how this looks. Basically, you navigate to your Messenger app and then when you’re on your Messenger app — I’m using an iOS iPhone so it may be a little bit different for Android — what I’m looking for is the search bar at the top of your Messenger where it says “search for people and groups.” I’m going to click into that; all I’m going to do is type in “CNN” and you can see on this screen that it says “bots and businesses.” which is interesting.
Right now it’s just a list of CNN and their affiliates in different countries. So I’m going to tap on CNN at the very top there and as I click on that it opens up a new screen that says how many people like this, including friends of yours and how often they usually take to reply. These I found may take minutes to reply and may also take days to reply. It doesn’t take CNN that long to reply.
Basically it says — let’s get started; I’m going to send you top stories. You can do one of three things. You can Check Top Stories; you can See Stories for You; or you can even Ask CNN.
I’m clicking on the “Ask CNN” button and this is what it looks like. It asks you what you’re looking for. Use one or two words to tell you what you want to know more about, so it gives you some examples there.
In my example here, I’ve asked to know about Donald Trump because he’s in the news. I wanted to make it easy for them. So I’ve typed in “Donald Trump” and it comes back and it says — based on what you asked for, here a story I thought you might want to read.
It gives me an article about Donald Trump from CNN Money. It lets me read the story if I want to which opens up in a new window.
It also has “stories for you” where you can ask CNN another thing. The interesting thing about this is that not only does it have that story, but if I swipe to the left, I can see other stories that are about Donald Trump or the same topic that I asked before. I can keep swiping across and it gives me in this case, three stories that I can choose to read if I so wish.
Then I skip down and I ask for Facebook. I wanted to find out a little bit about Facebook. Same thing again. It gives me three options of Facebook articles that I can read and so on and so on.
It lets you instantly know what’s going on. At any time, you can actually set up notifications so you get notifications from those companies. What I think is going to happen in the future — and it’s already being talked about at Facebook — is that they’re going to be able to run ads inside your messenger stream. Techcrunch reported this earlier this year.
If you’ve got these bots activated, then you will be getting ads from these different companies, whether it’s Bank of America or CNN or any other company that comes on board. Right now, as I’ve said, there’s only 33 but that’s going to grow pretty quickly I believe.
You can block companies from sending messages too. If you look at the manage button; tap on the manage button at the top. You’ll see that you can mute notifications; you can block sponsored messages or you can block all messages from that company as well so it just lets you do that in case you start playing around with this and you start seeing a lot of ads coming through, then you can block these as well.
That is a quick overview on How to use facebook messenger bots and I’d love to know your thoughts, what do you think about these new bots that Facebook are bringing out? I think that there’s going to be some big changes going on for a lot of companies especially when we’re interacting with messenger in the future.