Starting with 12th of April 2016, Facebook offers developers the ability to create bots for the Messenger platform. Summing up in one sentence: With the help of programming, your Facebook page account can automatically reply to messages and can programmatically use the messages that are sent to it.
Bots are tools that send automatic messages or images oo Messenger, an application that is used by 1.2 billion users each month and by over 50 million businesses. For many users, it will be the first interaction with artificial intelligence.
Yes, we are still far from the time that such a bot can be used without the user realizing that behind the answers is not a person or that the bot is able to answer any kind of question, but even like this, it can be an important online advantage especially where competition is high!
For companies that sell online services/products, it can be used as a sales, support, or loyalty channel.
What can be done?
Bot reply can be text, image, product (+ product slider), command confirmation, or a simple call2action button.
Conversations can be initiated by pressing a button that can be installed on the site (such as like/share button) or by sending a default message (eg: "I want to buy") through classic messaging (web or phone).
What can not be done?
The focus is on the conversation, so the scenarios must be designed in such a way that the first message comes from the user. It is technically possible to send messages to users without asking them anything, but this is contrary to Facebook rules. So without advertising or cross-selling messages.
How can it be done?
The necessary documentation can be found here and answers to any question that may come to a developer who wants to create such a bot. Once the bot is completed, it requires Facebook's manual approval, which may take a few weeks.
Many. Very much. Unlimited. In principle, there are two main ones: informational or for ordering. For example, the user will need to send a phone no. or email, which will be verified and will respond with the status of the last order.
To make commands, think that you can have a well-established flow in which you want the user to respond or make a choice from several variants.