2016 has been a great year for chat bot developers and the platforms that make them possible. However, it’s not just the techy and the geeky types that are paying attention to the newest social media trend. Popular and reliable news sources all over the world are covering chat bots and even offering their own chat bots. It’s fair to say that this is just the beginning. Here is a quick look at some of the chat bot coverage over the last few weeks.
Washington Post – “The Next Frontier of Online Activism is ‘Woke’ Chatbots”
The article first discusses a bot called @staywokebot on Twitter which is intended to keep morale high among activists, particularly during the Black Lives Matter movement according to the article, as well as provide contact information for a user’s senator based on their location. The article also mentions briefly bots from congress and the NRA. In the near future, woke” bots will take over the repetitive tasks, such as “rallying the community, calling for action and facing down the angry replies” that goes along with online activism.
The Huffington Post – “The Return of the Chatbots: Experiment, Engage, and Be Genuine”
Chat bots offer benefits to both consumers and marketers. Consumers, in an already on-demand culture, now have even more information and services available to them right in the preferred messaging app. Marketers now have a new way to get their brand and their business to the people who are interested in it. Via chat bots, restaurants can provide a way for their customers to order, pay, and have their food delivered without ever having to close the messaging app. Other chat bots are even more interactive including facial recognition to provide a more personal experience.
Time – “Profess Your Love for the Pumpkin Spice Latte Directly by Chatting With the Starbucks Drink on Facebook”
This article is about a very specific chat bot called The Real PSL. The Real PSL allows you to “communicate” with the famous Starbuck’s drink the Pumpkin Spice Latte which has come under scrutiny for not having any pumpkin flavoring included in the ingredients. The functionality of the bot is limited to a few phrases but it does give some insight into what Starbucks imagines is the personality of it’s famous, or infamous, Pumpkin Spice Latte.
The Huffington Post (UK) – “Facebook Lets AI Chatbots Send You Ads Through Messenger”
As synonymous with Facebook as “friend list” or “like/unlike,” ads are now making their way to Messenger which the article describes as “one of Facebook’s few remaining ad-free properties.” This article points out how Facebook is increasingly a way for businesses to reach potential customers, something it already did precision via targeted ads or posts on someone’s timeline. The article also quotes the product manager of Facebook as issuing what sounds like a defense of chat bots and their ability to send messages and promotions, by saying that any interaction will be “initiated by the person receiving the messages.”