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Facebook, on Thursday, rolled out an update for its Messenger platform which includes new and improved features. These features will allow businesses to develop new ways to connect with their customers.

The social networking site announced Messenger Platform v2.0 in April this year and now it has rolled out this new update with v2.1. To recall, Messenger platform was launched last year in April for businesses to easily interact with their customers.

Messenger Platform 2.1 Features

The Messenger Platform 2.1 release offers following features:

Built-in Natural Language Processing

It is a simple way for developers to incorporate Natural Language Processing into their bots. Built-in NLP will automatically detect meaning and information in the text of messages and then it will get passed to the bot.

Handover protocol

It enables cross app collaboration within a single Messenger experience. The handover protocol enables businesses to create multiple experiences within a single bot. Developers will also receive notifications when their bot has been blocked or any policy issue arises.

Seamless Payments

The update brings a new SDK for payments that make the Messenger WebView payment process easier. Customers can now easily check out and pay using a one-step process through Messenger. The payments on Messenger is still in beta and available in the US only. However, support is supposed to come through February 1, 2018.

New Facebook Page buttons

The new update brings five new Call to Action (CTA) buttons including Shop Now, Get Support, Get Updates, Play Now and Get Started to the platform. Businesses can add the relevant button to their Page to drive users to Messenger experience.

Desktop support for Extensions

The update also brings a SDK that extends Messenger’s functionality across mobile and web. This allows features like user ID and sharing to be available on the desktop that used to only be accessible on mobile.

Updated customer matching API

The new API allows customer matching prior to sending a message to a phone number, and optionally a name, via messenger.  This feature is currently available for select businesses in the U.S. for now.

Chat Extensions for Global Pages

The new update enables thread sharing across regions using the WebView and Chat Extension for Global Pages. Earlier, businesses that used Global Pages were unable to take advantage of this features if their users in the thread were in different regions.

Apart from above-mentioned features, the update has added some new messaging tags. These tags will make it easier to respond to customers’ questions and provide updates accordingly.

Facebook wants to connect businesses with its Messenger which has 1.2 billion monthly active users. The company also recently announced to roll out Messenger Ads on the app’s home screen. Since 70 million businesses have already a presence on Facebook, the company sees this as an opportunity to create a new revenue source for itself.