Facebook Messenger is beginning to seem more like a little OS that just a chat application.  The company announced several changes to Messenger recently.  Among them, the social media giant is now adding bots to the app which is akin to placing interactive apps within an app.  A chat bot is a computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users.

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These automated chat programs can handle anything from customer service, scheduling doctor’s appointments, ordering flowers or bringing you the latest news.

For example, you could use the bot for a store where you like to shop online to find shoes. Tell it what type of shoes you’re looking for and how much you want to spend and you’ll be offered options that suit your need. Of course, if you can contact stores, they can also contact you with offers. But Facebook  promises that you’ll be able to opt out of being contacted.

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Download the CNN Bot and you’ll be able to request breaking news or ask for specific information about something such as election results.

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You can request to have the weather messaged to you first thing in the morning.

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To find the bots, just open Messenger and tap + icon.

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Then tap the search icon.

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You’ll see bots for CNN, 1-800 Flowers and others.  Expect to see more bots on the way from banks, news organizations and businesses like Salesforce.

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For example, if I choose the CNN bot, it will message me top stories daily and I can also inquire about any news topic that I’m interested in.

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Bots are already active within Messenger. Unfortunately, these aren’t available if you use Facebook messaging within a browser.

~ Cynthia