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Going beyond the "public profile" basics with Facebook Messenger

(Jeff Israel) #1

For anyone that is developing on the Facebook Messenger platform, I am curious if you have found creative ways to “work around” the limitations of what Messenger offers with regards to interacting with the wealth of data a user provides. To be 100% clear, I’m not talking about ways that would deceive users, violate Facebook’s terms of service, etc. It simply seems to me that with the amount of data that the Graph API provides, some very useful and powerful bots could be built that leverage this information.

A simple use case might be if I took a great photo of a friend and sent it to them via Messenger, there is no straightforward way to save that photo to a Facebook album or make it my profile photo. Said friend would have to save the photo to their phone then upload it via the Facebook app.

If anyone has any ideas they are interested in sharing or know of any bots out there that already do this, let’s discuss!

(Matt Schlicht) #2

Streak Trivia lets you connect to Facebook and then tells you when your friends are playing in a game via the bot.

(Jeff Israel) #3

Thanks @matt, I’ll check that one out!

(dshah) #4

Maybe I’m missing something, but couldn’t you just have your users authorize your bot via OAuth – thereby giving you access to more features than you get by default via Facebook Messenger? That’s the approach Facebook applications take – and bot can (in theory) behave like an application integrated with Facebook.

The one tricky part is that to keep the OAuth simple, you might need to have the user click over to a web browser page in order to complete the authorization. But, that’s doable. I do something like that with my bot (GrowthBot).

(Jeff Israel) #5

I don’t think you are missing anything. I had the same idea, and looking at how Streak Trivia does things it adds credence to the idea, as does your experience. This is my first foray into any Facebook development and bot development so I thought I might be missing some other options. Ideally, I would like to have avoided bumping the user to a browser page to completed the handshake, but that’s the way it is right now!

I’ll check out GrowthBot also, thanks for the reply!