It’s F8 right now! We have two very special agents covering the event especially for you. Let’s focus on how Facebook plans to develop Messenger, currently the most used bot channel, in the upcoming years.
Virtual and augmented reality
If there’s one thing that really got us in love from this year’s F8, it’s that sentence:
“With AR, we don’t need a physical TV, we can buy a $1 app, put it on the wall and watch it.” – Mark Zuckerberg
That’s something we’re very eager to see. Go Facebook! But Mark and his teams didn’t mainly talk about digital furnitures.
We all noticed a camera that popped in our Messenger app a few weeks ago. Well, Mark Zuckerberg explained that Facebook is making camera the first mainstream AR platform. Why a simple camera? He explains that they’re currently the best thing we’ve got around and the next generation of AR/VR devices isn’t quite ready yet for mainstream use.
Simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) to localize objects in an image or computer vision to understand what an image is composed of give us the opportunity to add custom augmented masks and stickers to our sharable moments, making them even more personalised than before. But that’s not all. Facebook foresees many new uses for AR: unseen forms of art, tips and recommendation sharing in public in (very real) places, and much more.
A whole new world is upon us! By adding an in-app camera, Messenger is on its way to become the ultimate messaging platform, and maybe even the new mobile operating system altogether.
AR isn’t the only thing that will come and revolutionize Messenger.
Last year at F8, we were all excited when Facebook opened Messenger to bots. Since then, more than 100,000 bots have been developed, according to Messenger’s CEO, David Marcus. Recast.AI is proud to be one of the actors of this revolution!
Last year @facebook opened up their audience to #bots at F8. Wondering what will be announced this #F8. #optimistic
— Amir Shevat (@ashevat) April 17, 2017
As said above, people are today very fond of instant messaging. That’s why companies are starting to migrate their customer support right into Messenger. Setting up a bot is crucial to save precious time for their team and to bring the right information to their customers as fast as possible.
But hey, it’s also a brand new way to create a new acquisition channel! For example, Zuckerberg explained that Meetic’s dating bot converts 100% more than other channels.
It’s clear that bots are here to stay and that Messenger wants to be the reference platform to interact with your friends, family and favorite brands. Therefore, F8 2017’s big bot announcement is the creation of a discovery tab inside Messenger.
“We have a shot at becoming the Yellow Pages of messaging apps” – David Marcus, head of Messenger
The discovery tab allows users to easily find bots and businesses. Searching among thousands of bots made by developer, much like similar app stores, is now done right into Messenger. Exciting!
Facebook then presented its new feature: chat extensions. They integrate popular services into Messenger with additional features such as payment or easy sharing. These chat extensions will be built by developers and become part of the app ecosystem around Messenger. Facebook’s ambition is clear: to become the hub for interactions between companies and customers, much like WeChat in Asia. F8 2017 also focused on the development of games right into the messaging app.
Last but not least, Parametric Messenger Codes let a bot dynamically generate multiple Messenger codes that provide different functionality when they are scanned. Users can also now scan codes by holding down on the main camera interface in Messenger. This is probably a new step to go further on payment directly into Messenger.
For more details about the different new features, you can read a recap by Chris Messina on Product Hunt.
But in a nutshell, Messenger is slowly becoming the all-inclusive platform we’ve been waiting for.