Facebook has a new plan for developers that will allow them to build chatbots to run inside Messenger. A few weeks ago, there were reports that rival Google is considering working on a new bot-based messaging service.
Facebook improving ties with developers
If a report from TechCrunch is to be believed, then Facebook is working on a “Chat SDK,” which will enable developers to build bots offering Facebook users the convenience of accessing shopping, travel and other services through Messenger.
For quite some time now, the company has reportedly been testing the software development kit among a few developers, but how many third-party developers are there at this stage is not known for now. There has been no comment from the social network about TechCrunch’s report.
Along with steadily expanding the scope of Messenger, Facebook has also been working on improving its relationship with third-party developers. Last Spring, the company brought on the first outside developer into Messenger and since then has been expanding the role of some developers. Recently, the company added transportation integration with Uber and plans to add more transit partners going forward.
Bots and M – are they similar?
Facebook’s allowing developers to build Messenger bots might seem odd at first since they can compete with its own hybrid human/AI assistant, M. Differentiating Messenger from a chat app with super powers is one of the big goals of M, which intends to make it what people want to use for everyday communication that would replace SMS and all the other competitors.
Facebook will benefit from nurturing an ecosystem of chat bots as this will allow it to get outside developers to enhance Messenger’s value and make people addicts. It is possible for M to perform tasks that can be done via bots, like making a restaurant reservation, but it seems the idea here is to allow Facebook’s partner developers to build bots of their own, with which users could chat inside message threads for the completion of tasks. This will ensure that users stay in Facebook’s family of apps, leading to more revenue for the company.
On Wednesday, Facebook shares closed up 0.23% at $102.97. In 2015, the stock gained more than 31%, while in the last month, it is down by over 3%.