Facebook Messenger brings live chat and bots to websites

Facebook Messenger now has a plugin that lets visitors to a website engage in live chat with a human or bot without leaving that website. Called Customer Chat, the plugin is one in a series of major changes announced today as part of the release of version 2.2 of the Messenger Platform. Things like Message Us buttons or send to Messenger plugin have been available for websites for a long time, but this appears to be the first native offering for live chat with a human or automated bot. Customer Chat will be available on desktop and mobile devices and is currently in closed beta. Since the conversations sync, a conversation can begin on a website and continue on Messenger. Early users include airlines like KLM, Volaris, and Air France. Bots deployed on a website can be programmed to perform a variety of jobs, such as delivering order status updates, scheduling an appointment, answering common user questions, and providing automated services during the hours when a business is closed. Other major new features arriving with version 2.2 include built-in NLP in 10 new languages and the opening of betas for the Broadcast API and Handover Protocol.

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