Facebook has announced a new feature for its Messenger that will now make it possible for the 30,000 or so chatbots in the platform to accept payments directly in the chats. The Messenger bots will be able to accept payments without sending users to any other website. This new feature was announced at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2016 by Facebook’s Messenger chief David Marcus, who said that the payments system will support credit cards and payment services from major players like Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Stripe, PayPal, and Braintree. Facebook wrote in its newsroom blog, “We’re kicking off the beginning of messages with payments that will allow businesses to sell products and services directly to customers in Messenger. Customers can check out with a few easy clicks, without ever leaving the Messenger app. Merchants will be able to onboard with a simple self-serve onboarding flow.”
Another big change the Facebook has announced is the ads in NewsFeeds. Developers and businesses can choose the kind of audience they want to target for their ads. Seth Rosenberg, Product Manager at Facebook, in a blog post wrote, “Advertisers will now be able to select Messenger as a destination under the website clicks objective and use any call-to-action in their ad, including “Send Message”, to link to Messenger.” Now Facebook’s Messenger chatbots can be shared with friends and acquaintances, using a share option. Facebook in its blog post said that they have built more than 30,000 bots for Messenger and that Facebook has over 34,000 developers dedicated to it.
Other than the new payment feature, several other new options were added for the Messenger Platform v2.1 have been rolled out by Facebook which makes the platform more seamless. Facebook wrote in its blog, “Payments can now be integrated into messages, making it easy for customers to shop and purchase without leaving the app. Messages with payments utilize industry-leading controls and financial information is protected with bank-level encryption.”