Direct Message bots on Twitter will now look and function a lot more like other bots you may have encountered on popular chat apps. Starting today, developers can use up to three buttons in messages to customers on Twitter.
Buttons can be used to help people make purchases, link to websites, and trigger additional calls-to-action or conversational cues.
Better late than never. Call-to-action buttons have been a part of Twitter ad units for years, but by adding buttons to direct messages, Twitter joins virtually every bot platform today, including Microsoft, Facebook Messenger, and Telegram Messenger. Many other platforms took steps roughly a year ago to allow developers to create bots with buttons as a main navigation tool.
Bots in Direct Messages have evolved since Twitter introduced quick replies and welcome messages in November 2016.
Buttons for DM bots on Twitter are now generally available to developers using tools such as API.ai, Sproutsocial, or Conversocial, among others.
“Anyone can create an experience within Direct Messages, whether it’s a business or an organization, as long as you use our APIs or use a tool which is built on our APIs,” a Twitter spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email.
The addition of buttons comes just weeks after Twitter created a new ad unit that allows businesses to place chat experiences with similar buttons into Twitter feeds, and it follows major announcements for bot platforms this spring from Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and Apple.