Facebook has introduced chatbots for its Messenger app, but users think they’re slow and need touched up. Jefferson Graham of TalkingTech says chat bots are not ready for public consumption, although Facebook was pretty sure that users will be happy that businesses will use them to deliver automated customer support or e-commerce guidance.
Facebook Messenger has 900 million active users, almost as many as WhatsApp, the other application owned by Zuckerberg. Almost two weeks ago, Facebook has launched its Messenger Platform developer chatbot API and chatbots’ purpose is to help businesses communicate with their customers using artificial intelligence. Chatbots will be able to send links, provide information about items, services or features and even show images, so that customers will no longer need to hunt for them, as they will find everything within Facebook Messenger.
Theoretically, this is a powerful tool, but businesses need to know how to use it in their advantage. Brian Blau, an analyst with Gartner said that “There are reasons to be worried about it. Because we’re giving chatbots the power to act on our behalf, they’re taking on greater importance.” But, at this moment, there are many big names in the technology media who think chatbots are “Not ready for prime time” (Andy Yang, CEO of photo sharing site 500px).
According to Saba Hamedy, a reporter for Mashable, bots are “evasive”, “and yet another thing Facebook adds to our notifications”, while Mike Jones, the president of tech incubator Science, Inc., considers the introduction of the bots “a bit amateurish…but the idea is a compelling concept.” But he added that bots can become successful if they will provide desired information with fewer clicks.
But when are we going to love Facebook’s bots? Andy Yang thinks that we’ll get used to chat bots from “Two to three years”, while Mike Jones, the former head of MySpace, is more optimistic, saying that in the next six months, chat bots will be part of our lives.
“Somebody will come up with something so amazing, you’ll be like…..I love the information flowing to me every day,” he concluded.
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