Customer Chat: Facebook vs. Intercom vs. Drift

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@vittoriobanfiVittorio Banfi

Now this is an interesting race…

Photo by Braden Collum on Unsplash

The Facebook Messenger team just announced that they are going to compete with Intercom. On Twitter. You read that right.

So now they are competing full-steam with Intercom, Drift and others. As any good chatbot developer knows, every customer has asked the famous question

Will this chatbot work on my website as well?

Up until now, the answer has been: “Yes but..”

“Yes but we need some more work…”

“Yes but the carousel may not look the same…”

“Yes but…”

Heck, raised $10 million in order to properly answer this question (and more). From today onwards, developers will be able to tell their clients

Yes, out of the box. We will need to use Facebook’s plugin on your website.

Which may be reasonable for a lot of use cases. And totally not reasonable for a whole lot of other use cases. Given the regulatory framework it does not seem feasible for banks, financial institutions and any organization which is concerned about the private data flowing through their website chat.

For startups like us, it may be too limiting. Intercom offers a wide set of features that are very, very useful — CRM-like and auto-messaging capabilities for example. Sure, Facebook may potentially build new features and catch up; but its broad audience and ambitions usually limit the depth and complexity of the features that are added to the product.

Still, is a very interesting move. Although still in Beta, you can have a glance of the final user experience on the Chatfuel homepage.

The race is now officially open. As the Intercom CEO posted today on ProductHunt, it will be an interesting year



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