Thursday, 25 May, 2017

Facebook brings Spotify, Apple Music to its bot platform

With Its F8 Announcements, Facebook Messenger Is Getting Down To Business Apple Music will integrate with Facebook Messenger's new song
Cecilia Poole | 19 April, 2017, 01:45

Using the Messenger camera, users can scan parametric QR codes learn more about events they're attending, like basketball games and concerts. Today, Marcus announced that there are 100,000 bots on the platform, up from 33,000 in September, and 100,000 developers working on the platform.

Here at Facebook's F8 conference, Mike Schroepfer, the company's CTO, is presiding over a segment devoted to its recent advances in AI. Instead, Facebook wants bots to lurk in the background of the conversations real people are having on Messenger, piping up only when the bot can be of assistance (such as playing a song or booking a restaurant reservation). It's adding a new area called Discover where you can browse different Messenger tools, bots, apps and brands.

"Our goal was never to put bots out there and just have bots", Messenger's head of product, Stan Chudnovsky, told Business Insider during a recent interview. This would basically lead to greater user engagement and more time spent on the platform.

On their Facebook Pages, these businesses now also get support for smart replies, which are powered by the Wit.ai bot engine. The headline features happen to be chat extensions and a new discovery tab. Tap the hexagon icon on the bottom right and you'll see a list of Featured businesses along with popular bots, what's nearby and a bunch of categories like Food & Drink, Entertainment and News.

Apple Music integration with the Chat Extensions is also planned with no firm data announced. In total, over 1.5 billion games have been played in Messenger over the last 90 days, Facebook says.

With Messenger 2.0, Facebook seems to have made up its mind on the direction it wants to take with the messenger platform. For a handful of beta testers in California, M can complete tasks like "book me dinner for two tonight at a nice Italian place" or "find me the cheapest flight to Norway". And Facebook wants to keep the momentum going. The Spotify 'extension, ' for example, enables users to pull up Spotify within Messenger, find a particular song, and then share that song as a playable Spotify song directly within the group chat.

Subway customers can now use Facebook Messenger to order and pay for meals, the company said Tuesday. "All the data we have has been training it".

M, Messenger's virtual assistant, will also start making more suggestions in-app.

Messenger Day is the app's latest Snapchat clone. As part of that push, Facebook introduced a new Discover tab, a new home page in the messaging app that surfaces the best bots and businesses in a user's region along with bots that are in line with users' individual interests.

For now, Messenger appears to be sticking to what Facebook knows best: ads. A click on the games tab will allow users to challenge a friend to a game, and will support games where players take turns, rather than just those where they play simultaneously.

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