In 2016, more than 30,000 developers forayed into the unknown yet surreally fascinating realm of developing chatbots. Thousands of developers tried, experimented, failed, and tried again. Most of them failed again but didn’t give up, while others succeeded by augmenting their awareness about machine learning and natural language.
More than anything else, these endeavors have turned the spotlight on one undeniable truth – the possibilities are endless with this wonderful conversational technology that simplifies lives and boost productivity. Enriched by their share of pleasant and not-so-pleasant experiences in 2016, developers are gearing up to implement the lessons they learned last year.
2017 is being hailed as the ‘year of chatbots’ because this is the year when they are likely to go viral, imparting real value and becoming an integral part of your life. Think about this: more than 3 billon people are using messaging apps in some form of another and soon they will stumble their way across bots, using them every single day!
Chatbots: Heralding a New Way of Life
For the uninitiated, bots enable businesses to begin an automated conversation with those who click on them. A chatbot is an efficient way of enabling potential customers to inquire more about a business and get their questions answered. In addition, bots address real concerns of humans, such as scheduling an appointment with a doctor, buying plane tickets, providing weather-related information, giving directions for events, etc.
This is made possible through a deft interplay of keywords and menus which allow customers to get to where they want or to quickly and efficiently find the information for which they are looking. For businesses, chatbots offer a great platform for monetization and they open up a new outlet to attract customers while empowering them with their brand-building exercise.
Currently, Facebook has the largest chat platform available, encouraging large businesses and small-scale entrepreneurs to develop Messenger bots on their business pages.
It doesn’t matter whether you want to create bots about your newest product or for confirming flight/hotel reservations, or answering questions about a restaurant’s menu in a friendly, personal manner – you can do all of that and much more. What’s more, you don’t even need to know how to code in order to create a bot.
There are many intelligent tools out there that let you create chatbots without having to code a single line! ChattyPeople tops the list and is the best platform for entrepreneurs who are looking to create chatbots on Facebook. It integrates the strengths of e-commerce and AI commerce with ease while creating avenues for monetization through its integration with Shopify.
How to Create a Free Chatbot on Facebook
Here are five simple steps for creating a Facebook Messenger bot for your business.
1. Have a working endpoint
To begin, you will need a functional webhook endpoint that can return a 200-response code while also relaying back information for the purpose of verifying your bot with Facebook. Webhooks are used to notify people about events which unfold every time a particular action point is triggered. In other words, an app must achieve webhooks integration to get the messages and events exchanged by Messenger users.
2. Design an App
To do that, you must have a working Facebook page. If you don’t have an existing page, you can make one quickly. Next, login to the Quickstart page and click on ‘Skip and Create App ID’ in the top right corner. Now you are all set to create a Facebook app for your chatbot. Assign a name, category, and an email address. You may want to give your chatbot a unique name to distinguish it others.
3. Set up the Messaging App
After entering your Facebook app’s messenger setting, you will need to fill in the subscription fields and verification token to get your bot ready for the endpoint that was setup in our first step. You’re almost done!
Here, your endeavor must be to make the bot as human-like as possible. Adding emoticons and media, such as stickers and illustrations, will be helpful. The key is to impart the element of believability in your bot to ensure a pleasant user experience.
4. Start Chatting with the Chatbot
This is the final step to complete the development of your chatbot on Facebook. On the Facebook page of your business, choose the ‘Message’ on the top of the page. You can see it next to ‘Like’ button. Doing so will open up a message window. That’s it! You are now ready to begin sending messages which will be replied to by the chatbot. The bot will, by default, reply everything with a standard ‘Got it, thanks!’
5. Review Your Bot by Sending it to Facebook
While testing your chatbot, only you and other admin members of your page can send a message to it. You need to submit the app to Facebook for review before making it accessible to the public. Facebook undertakes a thorough review process to ensure that your bot is genuine and is impervious to the possibility of entertaining spam.