The move announced at the leading online social network's annual developers conference in San Francisco came as the number of monthly users of Messenger topped 900 million and the Silicon Valley company works to stay in tune with mobile Internet lifestyles.

"We think you should be able to text message a business like you would a friend, and get a quick response," Facebook co-founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg said as he announced that developers can build bots that could even be better than real people at natural language text conversations.
Bots are software infused with the ability to 'learn' from conversations, getting better at figuring out what people are telling them and how best to respond.
The bots could help Facebook over time monetize its messaging applications and get a start on what some see as a new way of interacting with the digital world, potentially shortcutting mobile applications and sidestepping search.