Facebook Messenger wants to become your one-stop shop

By Beth Nyaga

Your interactions with Facebook just got a bit more human.

At F8, its annual developers’ conference, the company announced Bots for Messenger.

Users will be able to get everything from weather updates to shopping notifications to personalized news from a range of companies.

People will now be able to message companies and publishers like they would message their friends.

“A lot of people are thinking about bots in a geeky way — we’d like to think of bots in a different way,” Facebook’s VP of messaging products David Marcus said.

But Marcus paints a picture of a world where your boarding pass is available in one tap on Facebook Messenger.

It’s the same place you can book a table at your favorite restaurant, print a photo and find a ride.

Bots for Messenger is launching with a few dozen partners, including HP, shopping app Spring and CNN.

HP (HPQ) built a tool that lets users print a photo by sending it to the company’s printing bot on Messenger.

Once a user sends a photo, the bot responds conversationally (i.e. “Hey, nice photo,”) and gives printing options.

Users can connect to their personal printers or send photos to locations around the world, HP Innovation Manager David Parry told CNNMoney, adding that bots are still in their early stages.

“[Eventually, bots will be] able to handle very administrative tasks in a very easy way — reservations, hotels, banking — as AI is able to anticipate needs and proactively talk to you, it’ll get more exciting,” he said.

Source: CNN Technology


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