Mindshare: It's a Bot, Bot World

Culture Vulture - Mindshare InSites
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This week, on Mindshare’s Culture Vulture Live, Rachel Lowenstein explores the growing world of chat bots. (Watch the video above.)

On Tuesday, Facebook announced a chat bot platform for Facebook Messenger during F8. This move will enable users to chat with brands and publishers through Messenger like they would with friends. For example, you could message the 1-800-Flowers bot to order a bouquet. Or message the CNN bot to get stories that you’re interested in. There are currently more than two dozen companies working with Messenger at launch.

But Facebook’s not the only one working with chat bots. Last week, mobile messaging app Kik launched a bot store for its platform, with chat bots to give you the weather, make-up tips, videos and more. And a few weeks ago, Microsoft launched bots for Skype, including the integration of their virtual assistant Cortana.

For brands and marketers, this is one trend you don’t want to ignore. For starters, there’s been explosive growth in messaging apps during the last few years. For example, Facebook Messenger has over 900 million monthly active users. This is an area where marketers can definitely find the increasingly desirable demographic of Generation Z.

What’s more, the growth of artificial intelligence has created all sorts of ways for companies to leverage chat bots. Moving forward, a brand could use chat bots for everything from providing tailored content, to customer service, to e-commerce and beyond. There are endless possibilities for how AI can change consumer engagement.

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