You like them or you hate them (here, we like them… a lot!). Bots have their usefulness, particularly because they are so good at repetitive tasks and let us – humans – focus on more advanced work. And the truth is, even if you’re not using them in your company, you’re more than likely to have interacted with them before.
Anyway, Facebook has just announced it was upping its bot game with the new chat extension for Messenger. We were all kind of expecting it but still, it’s quite a cool feature.
You will now be able to add group bots to your group conversations and they will feed news updates.
A bot will be able to send live updates on a match to the rugby fans amongst you, book a table in a restaurant for your girls’ night out, find that song your friend has been telling you about, or suggest flights and hotel bookings to your holiday group conversation.
As group bots don’t have to converse with anybody but act more like specific information finders, it should take a lot of the pressure off the developers to make them human-like. It will also get less frustrating for users that won’t have to repeat the same conversation over and over again with a conversational bot. That’s two of the main issues Facebook has been facing with Messenger chatbots addressed at once.
Some bots are already proving that in-chat commerce is working. For instance, SnapTravel has reportedly generated one-million-dollars worth of hotel bookings. That number alone should get companies quite excited!