Your bi-weekly news on how brands are using bots around the world by Simon Hudson, CEO and founder of Brndstr
This is the second edition of my bi-weekly bot column where we look at what’s new in the world of BOTS, changes and updates the social channels have made and the Hot Bot of the week from around the world.
To kick off this week’s updates let’s take a look at what the social channels are up to. Over the last few weeks we have seen some interesting news come from Twitter and Facebook – both of whom who have added some really great new features that brands will truly benefit from.
It is fair to say that Twitter is the go-to platform for customer service, so much so that a lot of brands who don’t have the Message facility open on Facebook tell their audience to DM them on Twitter. Although Twitter bots are relatively new, the team is rolling out some awesome features pretty quickly. The new ‘Custom Profile’ feature now allows a brand to have multiple agents reply to DM chats. Any brand or agency that manages Twitter accounts will be used to signing the DM with their initials or name on the brand account. This new addition will now allow each agent to have their own profile, avatar and name to help users know whom they are chatting with. This will also allow a bot to jump into the conversation at anytime and handle the most frequently asked questions instantly and in real time. Expect to see a lot of nice new innovations being introduced by brands that have access to this new feature.
It announced really nice new features earlier this week. Messenger has just released a ‘Live Location’ feature which means users can now share their exact live location directly in Messenger. It is not clear how long this will take to work with bots but it will be extremely valuable for brands that have restaurants, malls or venues they want to drive footfall to. They could alert users when they walk past a venue with deals available or alert that the F1 or Premier League is being shown on the TV. This could potentially open up a new way in which the beauty industry evolves its marketing.
One question that often gets asked when talking about bots is do people really use them and what value do they bring? Let’s go back 20 years to 1996 when the Internet was starting and Google was born. The adoption rate of the World Wide Web was relatively slow and it wasn’t until eight years later in 2004 that Facebook started. I then looked at the world of apps that started around 2006. The adoption rate was 50 percent quicker than web with apps like Instagram and Whatsapp being born four years later in 2010. Bots really only started last year, so following previous trends, it is likely that we will see some really exciting bots come to market toward the end of this year.
The one the team at Brndstr HQ have been playing around with this week is called Swelly. This very simple bot has done a fantastic job of letting users vote for items. It is a bit of fun but has been designed to help you with the daily decisions you may face such as what to eat, wear etc.
So that’s it for another week. Hopefully you have found the info useful and are already thinking of cool new ideas for a BOT. Thanks for reading and catch you in a few weeks!
In case you missed it, check out my introduction last week.