Could you imagine spending your entire day with Facebook? You already spend a lot of time on the site, and its Messenger app.
You read the day’s news there, chat with co-workers, comment of your family’s photos, and you might even do some shopping. But, if Facebook’s open-source chatbots start becoming commonplace, your hours with Facebook each week could turn into hours each day.
Facebook has been beefing up its text-message functionality quite a bit in the past year. That includes its virtual assistant M, which is similar to Apple’s Siri. Except, with M, you text it requests for information, and it responds back with the information you need; you don’t need to leave Messenger.
More recently, Facebook has been integrating services directly into its Messenger app. For instance, if you need a ride from ride-sharing service Uber, you can just text Uber a message in your Messenger app and ask for a ride.
The idea is to make your life simpler; and, for Facebook, to have you stick around on its apps longer. Just imagine not having to download apps for every service you need. Instead, just use them while you’re on Messenger.
Now, Facebook is opening up its embedded apps, or chatbots, to more developers. It’s called Chat SDK, according to reports; Facebook isn’t officially commenting.
One of the first developers signed up is Assist. It’s a chatbot that’ll help you book a hotel room, get rides from Uber and Lyft, schedule a haircut and more. You just text in a request to it through a messaging app like Messenger and Slack.
If Messenger’s chatbot partnerships take off, you may soon be using it to chat with stores’ customer service departments, pay bills, or shop, all with text messages. Keep reading Happening Now for more updates on Facebook, Messenger and its Chat SDK.