messenger, facebook

Facebook’s F8 developer conference is happening next week and the rumor mill has already started buzzing with speculations of what the social media giant will introduce next. And the latest addition is expected to come in the form of chatbots for group conversations on Messenger, reports TechCrunch.

Citing three sources aware of the developments, the publication reports that the social networking giant is planning to debut chatbots for users in Messenger group chats. These group bots will not particularly be chatty ones as you’d expect but will deliver you necessary information when required. The group members will be able to include third-party bots or ones they create (yes, Facebook is working on an API to debut alongside these bots) into their conversations.

The primary objective of group bots will be to ensure that every participant in the conversation is up to date with the latest info for the topic of their interest. This means you’ll have the option to choose bots which can deliver updates on a variety of topics ranging from sports or news to e-commerce and stocks. For example, a football-focused chatbot will provide participants with tournament, scores and important news updates about the sport.

But, there is currently no information on how Facebook plans to help individuals find these chatbots in the first place. This has been one of the most prominent problems with the Messenger platform from the beginning. There is the dearth of a directory to which a user can turn to and scout for new chatbots to converse with, or now add to their group conversation.

Recently, Facebook has been laying immense focus on the functionality of Messenger as a whole. It has introduced Messenger Day, a Snapchat Stories clone for its messaging application. But, that’s not at all surprising as the company’s complete social networking and communication stack are now cluttered with Snapchat and its widely popular camera tools. It has recently also upgraded the function of conversations with emoji reactions, @ mentions, live location sharing, and secret conversations that are end-to-end encrypted and ephemeral.

But amid all this, the messenger platform (for conversational chatbots, debuted at F8 in 2016) has not been able to gain traction from the populace. This exciting development had given individuals high hopes and they all rushed in to try conversing with these smart AI-powered bots. But, the technology was in its nascent stage, thus, the bots were not truly conversational and people gave up on them as soon as they accepted them. The number of chatbots on Messenger has definitely grown but the stats of their usage are dwindling. The social networking giant would now introduce tools to rectify this very problem. Are you excited for F8 2017? Comment your thoughts down below.

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