Which companies use Wit ai

Sales thanks to bots: Will every company soon have its own chatbot in Facebook Messenger?

The Zuckerberg network is providing selected partners with a software development kit under the radar that they can use to develop their own interactive bots for Facebook Messenger. On the one hand, the chatbots are a promising opportunity for marketing and open up innovative opportunities for customer communication and sales. On the other hand, Facebook continues to bind companies closely to its own cosmos.

Artificial intelligence for everyone

Mark Zuckerberg has been investing in AI for years and already announced at the in-house Developer Conference F8 last year that the Messenger will be expanded into a dominant platform in the future that will take on more than just communication between two users. Moving away from the pure app that connects people on a linguistic level, Zuckerberg wants to create space for companies that are open to completely new possibilities. Artificial intelligence plays a special role here.

The idea of ​​interactive bots that can be contacted in chat and respond in real time became loud. Uber was one of the first test partners in the large-scale project.

Josh Constine, Editor-At-Large for TechCrunch, now has insight into the development status of the messenger thanks to sources directly from the project and comes up with interesting details. Under the surface, Facebook therefore goes far beyond the artificial intelligence “M” that is used in Messenger and comes from the tech company Wit.ai that it bought.

The developers have designed a Chat SDK that enables companies to create their own bot. Thanks to the tools, selected partners are currently working on programs that react to messages from users and send back information, images, offers to buy and the like. As with Uber, the self-programmed bots are always available and respond in real time using interactive controls such as a map or certain keywords. For example, you can inquire about prices, reserve rooms, order goods or buy flights without a human being involved.

Zuckerberg's ambitious plans

The shift towards expanding the messenger is not unexpected. By nature, mobile and communication are closely linked.Contantine writes on TechCrunch:

On the web, keyword search was the core of the experience. But on mobile, it’s become clear that chat is where people spend most of their time. That makes winning the messaging was both a requirement and an opportunity for Facebook.

So far, apps from the respective companies have taken on the function that the messenger is now striving for. At first glance, an “all-in-one solution” appears practical from the user's point of view.

If the experiment works and the SDK becomes available to everyone, the question is what opportunities and dangers this brings with it. Some companies could do without developing their own app, thus saving development and marketing budgets and benefiting from the offer. Messenger may dispute a piece of the pie for others who do without it - not least Facebook itself.

At first it might seem odd that Facebook would help developers build Messenger bots that might compete with its own hybrid human / AI assistant. But one of the big goals of M is to differentiate Messenger as a chat app with super powers, and make it what people want to use for everyday communication instead of SMS or other competitors.

Journalist David Rowan also dealt extensively with the Messenger universe for WIRED magazine some time ago. It also cameArthur Gerigk, Global CMO of Rocket Internet, and made his assessment of Facebook Messenger clear:

In the past, people were spending their time on Facebook, on blogs, reading - now they're in messaging apps. A company that wants to acquire customers has to be present. If you're missing messaging apps, you're missing a huge amount of reach. You have to understand that you don’t control things like you do on a website - you can’t simply show a banner or choose a keyword or spam people. You have to build up an audience.

The bots could help build this target group.Julien Codorniou, Facebook's Director of Global Platform Partnerships, is more than convinced of Zuckerberg's plans:

Messaging apps is a business where the daily retention is 50 to 60 per cent. Everybody wants to be in that business. [...] One day, there will be companies built on Messenger, and we are at the beginning of that ecosystem. We launched at F8 mainly with expression apps like Giffy, Boostr and Legend. But that's the first generation. It's going to touch companies in e-commerce, utilities, travel, dating - I'm interested in every app. Our ambition is to fuel the growth of these companies. Nobody pays for the clicks they get on Messenger.

Nobody pays for clicks, but Facebook has certainly thought about monetization. We look forward to news from Zuckerberg in this area.

What do you think of this development? Let us know in the comments.

Sources: TechCrunch, WIRED

Anton Priebe was active at OnlineMarketing.de from 2013 to 2019. As editor-in-chief, the studied German studies and sociologist focused on technology, creative marketing strategies, conversion optimization and SEO.