Facebook announced a bunch of new features for Messenger at its annual F8 conference this year. The biggest update? A discovery tool to find more bots.
Messenger is now used by 1.2 billion “real” people monthly, but its future is certainly linked to AI, and its first iteration. Bots. The updated version of the Messenger app now comes with a “Discover” tab that will give you access – and help you find – many more bots.
These new type of bots are called “chat extensions.” The Discover tab itself strongly reminds us of… Snapchat, obviously. These “chat extensions” give you access to more content, from large publishers like CNN, The WSJ or ABC news. But “chat extensions” are also about more than published content. They integrate within your conversations.
For example, you can now send Spotify songs and listen to them within Messenger, or look for a restaurant and/or book a table.
David Marcus, vice president of messaging at Facebook, explained that the company developed the Discover page within the app to help recommend relevant bots to users, something both developers working with Messenger, and users, have repeatedly asked for.
Facebook also extended its QR code reader for the Messenger camera to bots (instead of it being only of people or Pages). Scanning a bot’s QR code will allow you to start interacting with it straight away, instead of having to find it first.