They’re Here to Help
There will always be the question or even debate over what is the next big play in marketing. Snapchat vs Instagram Stories, Periscope vs Meerkat, video vs photos. More recently that idea has shifted to something other than an app or a piece of curated content. We’re talking about bots, specifically the ones you find hanging out on Facebook Messenger. Recently VAIO launched their own bot messenger on Facebook. It will answer most of your inquiries and if you ever have trouble, a customer service agent can be requested or even jump in to assist.
Why are bots coming on the scene right now? The answer to that is really a culmination of the rise in smartphone users, our digital generation and brands pushing to get out in front of their consumers.
What’s With the Bots?
Research has shown that 88 percent of people spend the majority of their time in just five apps each month. In a Forrester article by Nicole Dvorak, she states, “ Today, consumers spend most of their time on smartphones using apps- and just five apps account for the 88% of the time they spend using downloaded apps.” The following make up the top five- Facebook, Instagram, Gmail, FB Messenger and YouTube. No surprise that Facebook is dominating that list and if you were taking notes from Zuckerberg’s keynote earlier this year you probably recall he’d love to make that list even shorter when he said, “No one wants to have to install a new app for every business or service they want to interact with.”
So again, What’s With the Bots?
It’s widely known Facebook Messenger already has about 900 million monthly active users worldwide. We’re not even talking about all of the Facebook users who were forced into downloading the new messenger app when the two parted for one another. That number directly refers to active users who adopted Messenger as a primary channel for communication. Here’s where the bots come in. Zuck believes bots living under one roof- FB Messenger, are a much better option than many different disjointed apps. Developers can build into an existing app, allowing businesses to get right in front of their customers without all of the extra work of building and marketing an entire app. Needless to say FB Messenger is the existing app to build into.
What’s so Great About Facebook Bots?
Leave it to Zuck and his team of brilliant minds to literally think of everything. Facebook’s Messenger bots are created using their Wit.ai Bot Engine, which turns natural language into structured data. Wait what does that mean? Well, it means that not only can these bots analyze and understand conversational language, but they have the ability to learn from it. Yes, these bots can get “smarter” with every interaction.
If you’ve been following the VAIO Society then you remember our post about artificial intelligence. Facebook is tapping into the Natural Language interface of A.I. technology. The notable thing here is how easy they’re making it. By opening up the messenger platform and providing the developer tools like the bot engine, Facebook has made building intelligent bots much easier.
Bots, the future of consumer interaction and not just on the customer service level. We’re moving into a time of innovative marketing tactics and this is yet another move within a much bigger chess game. VAIO will continue to move forward with our own bot and we’re interested to see how others in the tech world will create and utilize their own.