F8 conference – good news for the chatbot market

Facebook held its biggest event of the year last week in San Jose, California. F8, the annual developer conference was kicked off with a Tuesday morning keynote from CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The audience learned more about what Facebook is working on, including a new privacy focus and redesign for many if its sites and apps. How can these changes impact on an enterprise chatbot provider like Talk-A-Bot?

F8 conference 2019
source: The Verge

Let’s see briefly the 6 most important changes:

1.       Instagram-WhatsApp-Messenger cross-platform calls

We expect that business messaging and the chatbot API will be unified among these platforms. Firstly, this will standardize many common things and they will be easier to handle together for chatbot developers. Secondly, it will open up huge market opportunities as WhatsApp is the dominant chat platform in many target countries for Talk-A-Bot. WhatsApp has a lot of pressure to monetize its users, the opportunity is clearly business messaging. Good example WhatsApp’s business product catalogue pilot which was very successful in India with 1M users. People were enabled to send and receive money. It turned out users trust chat platform to do serious business.

2.       Privacy

Mark Zuckerberg finally understood that the privacy of people is key for long-term success and business capability.

“We believe that for the future, people want a privacy-focused social platform. I believe that if we build out a fully encrypted interoperable service… that’s going to be an important contribution to the world.” Zuckerberg says.

We believe the same and looking forward to the new, fully encrypted world. It will clearly help business-related communication and make more users who trust the platform.

3.       They announced the arrival of the lighter, faster version (under 30MB) of Messenger

A lighter and a faster version of Messenger is something that everyone was waiting for. On Google Play or Apple store many users claimed their disappointment with the speed of the application and also the unbelievably huge storage it demands. But still, there are 20 billion sent messages each month. People cannot stop using it and people-to-business messaging on Messenger still has tremendous growth too. Currently, there are over 40 million active businesses messaging people across the globe. Meaning, we’ll say a great thank you to Facebook, to make one of our main chatbot platform harder, better, faster, stronger. Even if the technology changes behind the app – it doesn’t affect our APIs.

4.       Business functions out of the box

Facebook is bringing appointment booking to the Messenger API so you can have an instant booking, real-time availability, and reminders. “Appointment booking is a common way that people and businesses are already interacting on our platform, so we built a dedicated solution that can be integrated with a business’ calendaring system to provide people with the most up-to-date appointment availability.” These new features will help developers’ job too. More tools, more opportunities.

5.       Easy Authentication

Facebook will also, be launching a new capability for m.me links — Authentication. This will allow businesses to direct customers who are already authenticated on a mobile app or website seamlessly into a Messenger thread and create an instantly personalized experience. Easy Authentication will complement the existing account linking platform feature and will help businesses handle common care issues such as billing inquiries, refunds, and more. Cool!

6.       Messenger for Desktop

“Messenger for Desktop” is coming later this year. This opportunity gives us a new-old platform – our bots will be available on.

Besides the many new feature, it’s good to see Facebook continues to invest in its enterprise product “Workplace”. More and more employees want social platform-like internal communication. While “Workplace” is well-targeted on the knowledge workers, CHEQ by Talk-A-Bot is designed to do the same for deskless workers.

Based on these announcements we expect the chatbot market to mature and thrive further. We’re excited to see how these changes help us connect businesses with their customers over Messenger in new ways.