The new tech was released during Facebook's F8 Developer Conference in San Jose, California. So, for example if you are talking to a friend on Messenger about catching up for a movie, Facebook wants that you should be able to book tickets and pick a nearby restaurant for food later without leaving the app. Today, the company has announced a plethora of changes for its Messenger app including the new ways for applications to integrate with it.
All this will help Marcus demonstrate a business model for Messenger, which has more users than Facebook's Instagram but a much more nascent plan. "Masterpass-enabled bots on Messenger offer both merchants and consumers innovative, compelling and secure digital payments on an extremely popular and active platform", said Garry Lyons, Chief Innovation Officer, Mastercard.
Businesses are also now being invited to generate multiple QR codes for their bots so they can track exactly where they are being scanned - Facebook suggests this could be done down to the individual table level at restaurants.
As the moment, Chat Extensions for Spotify, Kayak, NBA, Food Network, OpenTable, TheScore, and Wall Street Journal are now available, though Facebook says "many more" are inbound, among them being Apple Music. Part of the blame, the Octane team says, goes to the old requirement of a dedicated QR scanner app, but with the integration of QR scanning into the latest version of the Messenger camera and the new features, things are looking up. The Spotify bot will offer playlist recommendations to users based on their mood, genre and activity.
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"Because of its scale, Messenger is an excellent platform to extend our conversational servicing technology to allow Card Members to interact with us how and when they want", said Luke Gebb, senior vice president, Enterprise Digital, American Express. "We look forward to working closely with rue21 to enhance the online shopping experience for their customers". And it's now even easier to challenge your friends to a game in Messenger by tapping the Games tab on the Messenger home screen - which is starting to roll out today to some people in the US.
Facebook's enterprise networking platform Workplace which was launched in October past year also gets some crucial updates. We use it to share video, play games, and chat in real time. Files shared will have a thumbnail pic with description and a comments section-something which seems to be borrowed from Slack.
In other less-botty news at F8, Facebook is also rolling out beta VR support on the Occulus Rift for Facebook Spaces. Top 5 countries using Workplace includes India, Norway, US, UK and France.
The company claims to have already onboarded more than 1000 organisations worldwide who collectively have created 100,000 groups on the service as of October 2016.