Facebook announced new capabilities for developers building Messenger, according to TechCrunch.
Bot developers will now be able to track their bots on Facebook’s free analytics platform alongside tracking related to their Facebook ads. Facebook also opened up its FbStart developer program to bot developers.
These new capabilities will make it easier for bot developers to build new bots and monitor their bots’ activity and performance. Bot developers have been looking for more support form Facebook, particularly in monitoring their bots’ activity to measure their adoption and popularity among consumers, TechCrunch reported. While the number of bots on Messenger has exploded to more than 34,000, developers likely want to keep a careful eye on their adoption to see if bots are just the latest fads or if consumer interactions with them continue to grow.
The analytics features will allow developers to track their bots’ interactions across mobile and desktop devices, as well as measure customer journeys through different apps and websites. This means that developers will be able to track customer interactions that may begin with clicking on a Facebook News Feed ad and then go through their Messenger bot.
Developers will also gain statistics on messages sent and received through their bots, and will be able to see when people block or unblock their bot. Facebook will also deliver anonymized data on users interacting with the bots, detailing their age, gender, location, interest, and age demographics. Facebook may look to open up their bot analytics to other platforms in the future, allowing developers to track their bots’ interactions and performance across multiple messaging platforms.
Advancements in artificial intelligence, coupled with the proliferation of messaging apps, are fueling the development of chatbots — software programs that use messaging as the interface through which to carry out any number of tasks, from scheduling a meeting, to reporting weather, to helping users buy a pair of shoes.
Foreseeing immense potential, businesses are starting to invest heavily in the burgeoning bot economy. A number of brands and publishers have already deployed bots on messaging and collaboration channels, including HP, 1-800-Flowers, and CNN. While the bot revolution is still in the early phase, many believe 2016 will be the year these conversational interactions take off.
Laurie Beaver, research associate for BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on chatbots that explores the growing and disruptive bot landscape by investigating what bots are, how businesses are leveraging them, and where they will have the biggest impact.
The report outlines the burgeoning bot ecosystem by segment, looks at companies that offer bot-enabling technology, distribution channels, and some of the key third-party bots already on offer. The report also forecasts the potential annual savings that businesses could realize if chatbots replace some of their customer service and sales reps. Finally, it compares the potential of chatbot monetization on a platform like Facebook Messenger against the iOS App Store and Google Play store.
Here are some of the key takeaways:
- AI has reached a stage in which chatbots can have increasingly engaging and human conversations, allowing businesses to leverage the inexpensive and wide-reaching technology to engage with more consumers.
- Chatbots are particularly well suited for mobile — perhaps more so than apps. Messaging is at the heart of the mobile experience, as the rapid adoption of chat apps demonstrates.
- The chatbot ecosystem is already robust, encompassing many different third-party chat bots, native bots, distribution channels, and enabling technology companies.
- Chatbots could be lucrative for messaging apps and the developers who build bots for these platforms, similar to how app stores have developed into moneymaking ecosystems.
In full, the report:
- Breaks down the pros and cons of chatbots.
- Explains the different ways businesses can access, utilize, and distribute content via chatbots.
- Forecasts the potential impact chatbots could have for businesses.
- Looks at the potential barriers that could limit the growth, adoption, and use of chatbots.
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