Facebook pushes menus over chit-chat as it updates Messengers bot features
When Facebook doubled down on its Messenger chatbot feature last year many marketers were convinced that the social network had ushered in a new era of "conversational commerce," but Mark Zuckerberg's platform appears to be dialing back a bit.
Bots on Messenger has been updated, with Facebook announcing a rejig. / Facebook
Bots on Messenger has been updated, with Facebook announcing a rejig which pushes back on text speak within the service, instead encouraging users to interact with bots via clickable menus.
Facebook has told bot creators that the new persistent menus will help create a Messenger experience "without conversational capabilities".
As such, developers can even create Messenger bots that prevent people from typing in text form to reply completely, forcing them to use non-native menu buttons instead.
Bots are still firmly in the test and learn arena from brands and publishers, and much has been said of their ability to encourage interaction - the likes of Pizza Express and Covergirl have found success with them - but some brands are pulling away from the messaging medium and pivoting back into their own channels.
Earlier this week, digital fashion retailer and original Bots on Messenger launch partner, Everlane, announced it will no longer use the service to communicate with shoppers. For more formal communications like confirmations and shipping updates the brand says it has "decided to stick with what we do best — email."