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Zuckerberg's Facebook Messenger launches 'chat bots' platform

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Baku, April 14, AZERTAC

You already chat with friends on Facebook Messenger, according to USA Today. Now Messenger wants you to chat with businesses and get updates from them, too.

That's the future Facebook pitched Tuesday at f8, its annual conference for software developers in San Francisco.

"We think you should message a business just the way you would message a friend," Mark Zuckerberg said on stage at f8.

He laughed: "To order flowers on 1-800-Flowers, you never have to call 1-800-Flowers again."

Facebook handed the more than 50 million businesses on Messenger the tools needed to build interactive experiences, or "chat bots," that reach the 900 million people who use the messaging app each month.

Analysts are betting Facebook will find a way to make money if legions of businesses start using Messenger to chat with customers and sell goods and services. They estimate Messenger and Facebook's other messaging app, WhatsApp, could eventually generate billions in additional annual revenue.

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