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Kia Kokalitcheva / Axios

Following last year's big push to bring chat bots to its Messenger app, Facebook unveiled new capabilities and improvements on Tuesday at its annual developer conference in San Jose, California. "We got a lot of attention for opening our platform," said Messenger Chief David Marcus, "and right after we got a lot of attention for all of the work we still need to do."

What's new: Chat extensions for adding bots to group conversations, bots for playing games, QR codes for information, a Discover tab with a curated selection of popular bots, and new tools to help businesses build their own bots. There's already a Spotify chat extension for sharing music links in group chats, with Apple Music coming soon.

By the numbers:

  • 65 million businesses active on Facebook, and more than 20 million respond to Messenger messages
  • 2 billion messages sent monthly between users and businesses
  • 100,000 Messenger bots
  • 100,000 developers using Messenger's tools

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.

Trump pardons Michael Flynn

President Trump with Michael Flynn in 2016. Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

President Trump on Wednesday pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in the Mueller investigation to lying to FBI agents about his conversations with a former Russian ambassador.

Why it matters: It is the first of multiple pardons expected in the coming weeks, as Axios scooped Tuesday night.