Facebook is planning to open Messenger to publishers at F8 in April, reports Marketing Land. The report mentions that the company will launch with a few participating publishers, although these were not named. There is precedent to this move; Facebook and German tabloid Bild had started testing delivering news via Messenger in January this year. The messages were delivered as hyperlinks to users, led by the title and information about the post. Users can sign up for the feature, however, the company did not reveal the number of users. Note that in August, Facebook announced the testing of a new personal assistant service called M, powered by artificial intelligence and supervised by humans. The company claimed the assistant would be able to purchase items, get gifts delivered, book restaurants and travel arrangements, set appointments etc. and in January, launched an unannounced chat SDK to let developers build “bots” in Messenger for shopping, booking travel etc. In December Facebook started allowing its users to get a Uber cab from Messenger itself. At the time, the service was available only to 10,000 users in the San Francisco Bay area, with plans for rolling it out to other users. 800M active users: In January, Facebook said that Messenger had crossed 800 million active monthly users, inching closer to the Facebook-owned WhatsApp messenger’s 900 million active monthly users. Messenger was released as a standalone app for web in 2014. The company has plans to make money through ads on Messenger but does not provide…
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