14 April, 2016

Facebook wants to make it easier for you to communicate with businesses

People are now exchanging more than 60 billion messages a day through Facebook's two chat products, WhatsApp and Messenger.

That's three times the number of traditional SMS text messages sent per day, Mark Zuckerberg said on stage at the company's F8 developers conference. The company also announced its widely expected Messenger Platform to help businesses build intelligent chatbots to let companies and users communicate in Messenger.

Facebook's thesis is that some people hate talking on the phone and would rather do something - buy a shirt, order an Uber, make a dinner reservation, check their flight status - within a chat interface.

"You'll never have to call 1-800-Flowers to reach 1-800-Flowers again," Zuckerberg said on stage.

Messenger currently has 900 million users around the world."You're going to be able to build your bot for Messenger starting this afternoon," Facebook Messenger chief David Marcus later said on stage."Today could be the beginning of a new era," he said.

Facebook also officially talked about how its going to be making money from Messenger.For example, Facebook's going to start letting companies buy News Feed ads that will take users directly to their bots.