The term chatbot may conjure up images of Alexa’s spinning blue ring, poor experiences with early versions of Siri or for some, chatting with SmarterChild on MSN. While chatbots in their many forms have been around for years now, it’s only in the last few years that we have begun to see truly practical applications that create real value.
If you have interacted with a chatbot in the last couple of years, there’s a good chance that you had a mixed experience. Chatbots today can be compared to mobile apps in the early years of the App Store – lots of brands are experimenting and they are having mixed results. It’s only now becoming clear what separates a good chatbot from a bad one. And the first step to building a great chatbot is choosing the correct channel.
To keep this blog short, I’m only going to focus on text-based chatbots – I’ll leave voice-activated bots for another (far longer 😅) piece. When you’re looking at channels to deliver your chatbot, you’ve got a lot of options. With the most popular being WhatsApp, a website/app solution and Facebook Messenger. At bot•hello, we build chatbots for Facebook Messenger, here’s 5 reasons why.
Everyone has a Facebook account
Perhaps the most significant benefit of Messenger bots is that they are frictionless. The downloading of an app, creation of an account or visiting of a website is not required. Watch as a user goes straight from an Instagram ad into a conversation with the bot we built for Maybelline 👇
Facebook Messenger is a familiar user interface
In terms of monthly active users, Facebook Messenger is the most-used messaging platform in Australia.³ The interface is clean, simple and most importantly, familiar. Because the interface is familiar, a steep learning curve or user tutorial is not required. Anyone who has used Facebook Messenger can converse with a bot and find it highly engaging and easy to use.
Messenger has a rich user interface
While text is incredibly powerful for communication, there are times when an interactive user interface is going to result in a better experience. Facebook acknowledges this and has purpose-built what they call conversation components.⁵ This allows Messenger bots to send rich media like audio, video, photos and GIFs. The bots can also utilise carousel menus, quick-replies and web-views to better display options or information.
Facebook views Messenger as the future
You might remember back in 2016 when Facebook removed the ability to send messages in the Facebook mobile app. Forcing users to download the standalone Messenger app. Back then, Facebook predicted the role that messaging services were going to play in the future of social media. And this prediction has very much come to fruition, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying the following in 2019;
“I expect future versions of Messenger and WhatsApp to become the main ways people communicate on the Facebook network.”
Facebook’s commitment to the platform is especially apparent with Facebook’s constant development of new features. Most recently including e-commerce functionality, Instagram integrations, and In-App Augmented Reality.⁶
Messenger has the stats to prove it
- Facebook Messenger is the second most popular Messenger platform in the world (behind WhatsApp), with over 1.3 billion monthly active users.²
- Facebook Messenger is the most popular messaging platform in both Australia and the United States. With more than half of the Australian population being on Messenger!³
- Over 60 million businesses use Facebook Messenger⁴ to communicate with their fans and customers.
- Messenger open-rates are sky-high. On average, the chatbots we build for our clients have over 90% open-rates! When compared to the average email open rate of 18.1%, this number is remarkable.¹
If you’re keen to see what a Messenger bot can do for your business, get in touch below 👇
- Email open-rates: (https://dma.org.uk/article/email-benchmarking-report-2018)
- Messenger monthly-active users: (https://www.statista.com/statistics/258749/most-popular-global-mobile-messenger-apps/)
- Australians on Messenger (https://cxcentral.com.au/advanced-technology/messaging-app-users/)
- Businesses on Messenger: (https://www.digitalmarketing.org/blog/ultimate-guide-how-to-set-up-facebook-click-to-messenger-ads)
- Conversation components: (https://developers.facebook.com/docs/messenger-platform/introduction/conversation-components/)
- Facebook AR: (https://sparkar.facebook.com/ar-studio/)