Facebook Bakes Natural Language Processing Into Messenger Platform 2.1

Developers will be able to make better use of smart service capabilities in Messenger

Facebook has build natural language processing into its Messenger platform to give developers more ways to facilitate services through the use of smart agents.

Messenger Platform 2.1  contains a range of features that Facebook said will enable businesses to develop new ways to connect with their customers and improve conversation experiences between chatbots and humans within Messenger. 

Smarter chat 

Facebook natural language processing Messenger“When Built-in NLP [natural language processing] is enabled it automatically detects meaning and information in the text of messages that a user sends, before it gets passed to the bot,” said Facebook Messenger’s technical program manager  Vivien Tong

“This first version can detect the following entities: hello, bye, thanks, date & time, location, amount of money, phone number, email and a URL. This is the first step in bringing NLP capabilities to all developers, enabling brands to scale their experiences on Messenger.” 

The natural language processing capabilities come courtesy of Wit.aim a company Facebook acquired backing in 2015; its services have been available to developers for some time, but were not made native to the Messenger Platform until its latest iteration. 

Alongside in-built natural language processing, the overhauled Messenger Platform contains software development kits for developers to easily integrate payment services into Messenger and make it easier for to switch customer conversations from automated chatbots to human customer services. 

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The idea behind these features in Messenger Platform 2.1 is to make interactions between people and businesses more streamlined and seamless, allowing them to complete transactions within messenger without needed to visit an external site or use another app.

The expanding of the Messenger Platform’s capabilities is yet another example of Facebook evolving its Messenger service and by association its entire social network into a platform full of services rather than a simple networking site.  

Furthermore Facebook appears keen to push smart technology even further, with it enlisting the help of artificial intelligence to help combat terrorism-based content of its social network

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