Facebook has rolled out a raft of features to its Messenger chatbots, including linking users' third-party CRM profiles to their Messenger info so that bots can make more personalised suggestions and address users by their names.
The new account linking feature will enable customers to link their online retailer accounts with a brand chatbot, for example, with the chatbot then able to offer suggestions based on previous purchases. The feature will be opt-in for users.
Several retailers have already embraced chatbots and introduced the ability for users to make purchases within Messenger. Linking up existing CRM data with chatbots will dramatically increase the potential for the feature to generate revenues and serve as a legitimate mCommerce channel.
Other new features include the ability for brands to send GIFs, audio and video to consumers, all of which will play natively within Messenger. Currently, chatbots can only share text, images and URLs.
Facebook has also introduced a feedback mechanism for chatbots, providing users with more controls and enabling them to mute bots for a period of time, give them a star rating and share feedback with developers, for example.
According to Facebook, over 11,000 bots have launched on Messenger since the launch of the platform, with over 23,000 developers signed up for the bot engine the company released. The firm highlighted bots created by brands as diverse as Disney, the NBA, Shopify and Call of Duty.
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