It’s the Future, and Robots Are Using Facebook
Bots being implemented in chat services is nothing revolutionary. Back during the heydays of AOL Instant Messaging, or AIM, chat bots were used as search engines (and the occasional silly conversation). Accounts like SmarterChild were run by larger companies–this particular bot had been on over 30 million AIM user’s buddy lists. Bots have been falling by the wayside because of inventions like Siri, serving as search engines in our pockets. But what if you have a question specific to a company or topic that Siri can’t answer? This is why Facebook is rolling out new messaging bots.
What are messenger bots, anyway?
They’re essentially artificial intelligence systems ready to interact with customers regarding specific topics. They may be pre-programed with questions such as, “How can I help you today?” and are designed to respond to keywords like “weather” or “sports”. Up until now, companies have been utilizing messenger systems to interact personally with clients–you may see some live chat functions on websites in place of a contact link. With Facebook’s new bot messaging system, companies won’t have to use employee power to answer questions, and can automate responses to save time and money.
What does this mean for Facebook’s messaging system?
Facebook has said, “Bots can provide anything from automated subscription content like weather and traffic updates to customized communications like receipts, shipping notifications, and live automated messages all by interacting directly with the people who want to get them”. They believe that their messaging system will end up being a prime way to interact with customers and the public at large. Now, it isn’t enough to simply update your page with a link now and then. If you’re a business, you would do well to invest in Facebook’s bot service. Interacting personally with clients is going to become vital as we move forward, and as the virtual world continues putting spaces between customer and business. Start closing these gaps ASAP.
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