With the Layer Server API, you can create chatbots that work alongside human agents to scale your customer experience. Our Server API, when combined with the Webhooks API, helps customers enable responsive automation in their messaging services.

We’re happy to announce that typing indicator support for delayed messaging via Server API is now generally available to Layer customers. The automated typing indicator can be used to add a human touch when you’re delivering messages with chatbots by making automated responses feel more realistic.

This post will give you an overview of how the typing indicator can help your messaging experience. If you want a more detailed description and information about features outside of delayed messaging, you can see the full Server API documentation here.

Bringing a Human Touch to Messaging Automation

The value of a messaging experience is the ability to hold frictionless conversations that foster human connection and increase customer loyalty. However, scalability is a concern for most businesses and chatbots are beginning to emerge as a way to increase operational leverage and efficiency without ballooning human resource costs.

Our delayed messaging feature was developed with the goal of maintaining the human touch even with chatbots. There are times when sending an immediate response to a customer message will feel too abrupt and too canned.

If a customer asks a question and receives a long response in a split second, it’s a dead giveaway that they’re interacting with a chatbot. Response speed is important, but not if it creates a jarring user experience.

Layer gives you control over [delay_in_seconds] to dictate a wait period for sending automated messages. And now, with the new support for a typing indicator, you can make your chatbots feel even more human.

In addition to [delay_in_seconds] you can now set parameters for [typing_indicator_in_seconds]. Instead of just sending a delayed response, you can make artificial responses feel more realistic by mimicking the typing indicators you see in chat apps like iMessage, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp.

These two parameters come together to form a chatbot [schedule]. The typing indicator time is relative to your message delay. If you set the automated response with a delay of 8 seconds and a typing indicator of 4 seconds, your users will start to see a typing indicator after 4 seconds.

The customizability of the typing indicator feature is nearly endless so you can build a messaging experience best-suited for your specific needs. You’ll have to decide what kind of experience you want to build.

If you want to learn more about how to customize features like Delayed Messaging through the Layer Server API, check out the full documentation on our website.