Facebook Messenger is making it easier for companies to do their business on its platform.
The company unveiled Messenger Platform 2.1 on Thursday, which will make it simpler for business to use its bots and conduct sales and customer service tasks.
Facebook is working on ways to encourage businesses to use the platform, which can provide revenue opportunities in the future. The company is just beginning to monetize Messenger, and rolled out global advertising on its home tab in July.
More than 1.2 billion people use Messenger each month, and users send more than 2 billion messages to businesses monthly, according to Facebook. A Nielsen and Facebook study showed 63 percent of survey takers increased messaging with companies over the last two years in 14 different markets.
The new features make it easier for businesses to set up payments and checkout services through the chat function. It will also let them change the typical "Send Message" button on its Facebook page to a more specific task, like "Shop Now," "Get Support" or "Play Now."
The update includes more automatic natural language processing (NLP) detection, making it easier for bots to determine what message senders mean when they say "hello," "thanks" or mention where they are located. The new NLP tools will replace other bot tools Facebook introduced at F8 2016.
Facebook Messenger is also adding back-end tools to help companies switch between simple request bots can handle and more complex questions human customer service employees need to answer without the user noticing a difference during their conversations.