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Thursday, 12 May 2016

Facebook's new chat bot platform is off to a fantastic start

Facebook Messenger's new service is a hit with developers.
Messenger Platform, the company's new chatbot service, is attracting developers in droves, head of product Stan Chudnovsky said at TechCrunch Disrupt on Tuesday. There are now "tens of thousands" of developers creating chatbots for Messenger, an impressive statistic because the platform has only been operation for one month.
The first new initiative announced at Facebook's F8 developer conference in April was Messenger Platform, which includes a variety of tools designed to assist businesses with the creation of bots for the messaging app.
Facebook messenger addresses business visibility

The flood of developers to Messenger Platform indicates that Facebook's efforts to generate interest in chat bots among users, developers, and clients are starting to work. Chudnovsky did not provide specific details about use and adoption, but he did disclose two pertinent statistics.
In the one month since the launch of Messenger platform, approximately 5,000 companies that use Shopify have sent order confirmations and alerts through the chatbots on Messenger, according to TechCrunch.
And in the first week on the platform, a chatbot for Call of Duty, the wildly popular first-person shooter video game, exchanged almost six million messages with users.
If successful, Facebook could light the fire of consumer interest in messaging bots, a relatively new technology of which the general public is not widely aware. But Messenger has more than 900 million monthly active users, so that level of exposure should open many eyes to chat bots and convince them to test them on Messenger, Skype, Kik, and Telegram.
The success of Messenger Platform is further evidence of how messaging apps have evolved beyond simple text communication. These apps now include commerce, artificial intelligence, and more.
Will McKitterick, senior research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on messaging apps that takes a close look at the size of the messaging app market, how these apps are changing, and the types of opportunities for monetization that have emerged from the growing audience that uses messaging services daily.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:
  • Mobile messaging apps are massive. The largest services have hundreds of millions of monthly active users (MAU). Falling data prices, cheaper devices, and improved features are helping propel their growth.
  • Messaging apps are about more than messaging. The first stage of the chat app revolution was focused on growth. In the next phase, companies will focus on building out services and monetizing chat apps’ massive user base.
  • Popular Asian messaging apps like WeChat, KakaoTalk, and LINE have taken the lead in finding innovative ways to keep users engaged. They’ve also built successful strategies for monetizing their services.
  • Media companies, and marketers are still investing more time and resources into social networks like Facebook and Twitter than they are into messaging services. That will change as messaging companies build out their services and provide more avenues for connecting brands, publishers, and advertisers with users.


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