In an effort to improve its services, Facebook recently launched the Messenger Platform, integrating bots to the standalone app to let customers carry out tasks independently.

More than 900 million people all over the world use Messenger to talk to friends and families and to get in touch with more than 50 million businesses. Facebook has been steadily expanding what people can do on the messaging app, and part of their effort to create the most engaging experiences for users is to partner with businesses to let them better communicate with their customers.

One of these businesses is HealthTap, the first health care company to be part of the new Messenger Platform. With it, Messenger users can simply type questions into the app, and they'll receive answers for free from HealthTap's 100,000-strong network of doctors in the United States. The Q&A service is private and anonymous to help customers feel comfortable about asking any health-related question they might have.

"The new Messenger Platform enables us to extend the ability of our dedicated and generous doctors to help people everywhere feel good," said Ron Gutman, CEO and founder of HealthTap.

"We are focused on facilitating messages from businesses that provide meaningful value to the people who receive them ... we will have review processes to ensure we carefully evaluate how our community is responding," said David Marcus, VP of Messaging Products over at Facebook.

Before Messenger incorporated bots, users had to download the HealthTap app to gain access to the health care company's network of doctors across 141 specialties. The app is still available for iOS and Android devices, but now, anyone with Messenger can ask HealthTap a question while they are chatting with someone, never leaving the messaging app to get what they need.

All answers provided by HealthTap come from U.S.-licensed doctors and are then peer-reviewed for quality to assure they are accurate, which can't be always be said for other sources of health information on the Internet.

What do you think of the new Messenger Platform? Let us know in the comments!

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