Facebook is expected to unveil at its developer conference F8 in April the first major Messenger partnership with a large e-commerce platform that would use bots to facilitate ordering in the chat app, says a person briefed by Facebook. The partnership is part of Facebook’s push to get the fast-growing number of Messenger users to transact with businesses through the app.
And the e-commerce deal will only be the start. Facebook is ironing out partnerships with a range of merchants and developers to help kickstart more purchases on Messenger. One possible partner is 1-800 Flowers.com, which also delivers food and gift baskets, said a person close to the F8 preparations. The New York-based 1-800 Flowers declined to comment.