Facebook Launches Messenger Platform 2.1 With In-Built Natural Language Processing

Facebook has launched a new version, Messenger Platform 2.1.

Facebook has launched a new version of its Messenger Platform recently. The new version Messenger Platform 2.1 encapsulates some out of box new features including built-in support for Natural Language Processing, a payments SDK, etc.
Here is the chnagelog for Messenger Platform 2.1, that Facebook shared via a blog post,
"Messenger Platform v2.1
  •  Built-in NLP is a simple way for developers to incorporate natural language processing into their bots. Built-in NLP automatically detects meaning and information in the text of messages, before it gets passed to the bot.
  • Handover protocol enables cross app collaboration within a single Messenger experience. The handover protocol enables businesses to create multiple experiences within a single bot.
  • The new SDK for payments makes the Messenger webview payment process easier and more efficient. Customers can now pay using a one-step process through Messenger webview. The webview payments SDK for Messenger Platform v1.2 - 2.0 is now deprecated - support will continue for these versions through February 1, 2018.

  • Added expanded set of Facebook Page buttons: Shop Now, Get Support, Get Updates, Play Now and Get Started.

  • Added desktop support for Messenger Extensions SDK that extends functionality across mobile and web. This allows features like user ID and sharing to be available on desktop.

  • Updated customer matching API allows matching prior to sending a message to a phone number, and optionally a name, via the API.

  • Added Chat Extensions for Global Pages. Enables thread sharing across regions using the webview and Chat Extension.

  • Added policy enforcement notifications, which send notifications when a bot has been blocked or policy issues arise.

  • Added new messaging tags to make it easier to respond to customers’ questions and provide updates: APPOINTMENT_UPDATE, GAME_EVENT, TRANSPORTATION_UPDATE, FEATURE_FUNCTIONALITY_UPDATE, TICKET_UPDATE."
The most prominent feature in this new release is Natural Language Processing which will be an in-built feature provided by Wit.ai, a Facebook subsidiary acquired in 2015. The in-built NLP support will help detect and interpret the common phrases and send out an automated response via chatbot. The process of how the NLP functionality will work in Messenger Platform 2.1 seems quite simple.
Source: messenger.fb.com 
“Once Messenger's built-in NLP is enabled for your Facebook Page, it automatically detects meaning and intent in every text message before it is sent to your bot. The message will be relayed to your bot as usual, along with any entities detected in the body.”
The newly added handover protocol will enable bots to transfer a conversation to the human staff in case a customer gets stuck. Facebook also launched a new payments SDK, as a part of payments beta program ( launched last fall ), to enable payments in messenger webview. 
Source: messenger.fb.com 
There is a long list of added features and enhancements, which can be found in the Messenger Platform Documentation released by Facebook. To read the details of this feature, you can go through the official blog as well.