It’s been exciting to see so many developers storm the Messenger Platform since it launched in April 2016.

The bot developer community has shown Facebook that bots are relevant and that they can provide value to end users in several use cases. To give back to this community of thought-leaders, Facebook has released a major update to its Messenger Platform on March 2nd. The update will help developers create enhanced user experiences for bots while also providing developers with bot analytics and discoverability features.

Here are some of the most exciting changes. At Sodima Solutions we’re happy to utilize this update to create richer experiences for the bots of our clients.

Enhanced Menu Structure

Developers can create “persistent menus” that bot users can skim through quickly. This gives users access to all of the bot features with just a few taps within the persistent menu. Additionally, developers can disable the composer for their bot so that users won’t be able to text the bot anymore. Instead, users solely rely on using the bot with the persistent menu. Learn More

Enhanced Menu Structure
Enhanced Menu Structure (at the bottom of conversation)

Enhanced Social Sharing Capabilities

Something that will inevitably help bots gain more traction is a seamless sharing process between users. It’s undeniable but users care to share! Thus, bots need to be designed “share-friendly”. The enhanced social sharing capabilities allow developers to customize the content (image / message / button) that can be shared by users. Previously it was only possible to add a share button to a message which is then shared by the user. Sharing capabilities for webview have also been enhanced with an example picture here for a Trivia Blast game. This allows users to play the game while not having to leave the Messenger app. Learn More

Enhanced Customer Matching
Enhanced Social Sharing Capabilities (shared Trivia Blast game within chat)

Enhanced Customer Matching

Businesses are now allowed to send messages to users by providing their phone number and name instead of using a Messenger user ID. Sent messages will appear in the user’s “request” section inside the Messenger. The user can then accept the message after reading it and follow through with a conversation. This will help businesses reach out to existing customers through different customer information. Learn More

Enhanced Bot Feedback
Customer Matching Process (step by step)

Enhanced Bot Feedback

“Page Insights” allows developers to track the user engagement on Facebook Pages. Similar to Page Insights, Facebook just released a“Page Messaging Insights” API which allows additional tracking of bot performance. Developers can now gain insights for messaging turn-ons, turn-offs, thread deletions, spam reports and others.

These changes to the Facebook Messaging Platform will benefit the bot builder community greatly and most importantly it will enhance the user experience.

Facebook is learning from the things that we, the bot builder community, have collectively built over the past year. With such updates to the Messenger Platform, Facebook is actively supporting the usability of our bot solutions at Sodima Solutions. —Therefore, thank you Facebook!

You can read more about the updates for Messenger Platform 1.4 here in Abby He’s post for the Messenger Blog. If you are interested in learning more about Sodima Solutions and the bots that we develop for our clients, then don’t hesitate to reach out to: marcellus.m@sodimasolutions.com