Facebook Messenger update makes business bots easier to deal with

Messenger 2.1 adds new buttons and bot tweaks to make life easier for customers.

After launching Messenger 2.0 in April, Facebook has just dropped the platform's 2.1 update. Once again, most of these changes are here to help businesses, with Facebook focusing on improving how its Messenger bots work in the latest update. Messenger now has built in natural language processing (NLP), which means the platform can detect seven key traits of any message before passing it onto a businesses' bots. The addition of NLP helps Messenger flag crucial information from an inquiry, like date and time, location, phone number, amount of money and email addresses.

This makes life easier for consumers too, meaning that they're more likely to get the right help quickly, rather than spending a frustrating conversation talking to a bot that fails to register the crucial info.

With Facebook's bots being far from perfect, 2.1 also brings with it a handover protocol, which allows a business to transition seamlessly from a bot responding to common queries to more complicated support from a human employee. This Handover protocol service is now in open beta.

In a move that will make life much easier for customers, businesses will now also be able to feature a wider choice of contact buttons on their Facebook page. Joining the currently available "Send Message" button are options for users to Shop Now, Get Support, Get Updates, Play Now or to Get Started.

As far as bots go, it's certainly a good start. Still, It looks like we're a way off from resurrecting our loved ones as holograms at the moment, so that's something for Facebook to aim towards in Messenger 3.0.