“Since now we’re mostly past this obsession with natural language in bots” is a BIG statement!
Coming from a pure experience perspective, I understand that from Facebook’s view of the world that might be true, but there are a hell of a lot of situations where the structure and form of a brand conversation most definitely lends itself to linear narrative.
I think that, while I agree with most of the ideas presented here, the idea that Decision Tree Only is Bad is a bit simplistic.
I say this because many people reading your article won’t necessarily be quite as buried in the world of Facebook Messenger as you are, or even use Messenger as their primary platform.
It is important to look at the overall experience and approach it from a customer perspective rather than applying some pretty fundamental changes to engagement behaviours because of ‘shiny shiny’ feature-lead conversations from platforms.