Facebook announced Tuesday it will let developers build chatbots – interactive, responsive messaging programs – to communicate directly with people, CNBC reports.
The announcement came at its annual F8 global developer conference, where CEO Mark Zuckerberg laid out his vision for the future of the company.
If successful, Facebook could effectively leapfrog the app economy, and create its own thriving digital ecosystem where users can communicate with automated representatives for brands and businesses within Facebook's platforms.
But another high-profile chatbot release was recently ridiculed and quickly pulled from the web. Microsoft released a chatbot on Twitter last month named Tay, but promptly shut her down after she tweeted a flood of racist messages after being prompted by other users.