Bots Are Taking Over

programming Posted on Mar 21, 2016

Bots are quickly taking over as the preferred way for brands to communicate with consumers on mobile. A paradigm shift is underway: Soon brand-created apps will be a thing of the past, and messaging via chatbots will be the only interface consumers will need with their brands online. Freaking out? Don’t. We’re here to help make sense of it all.

Facebook’s recent launch of a Messenger bot platform is arguably the most consequential event for the tech industry since Apple announced the App store in 2008. Back in 2008, when the Apple store launched and 3rd parties were able to create apps for the iPhone, there were only 6 million iPhones worldwide. Compare that to the massive 900 million active monthly users on Messenger and 15 million businesses on Facebook today.

That’s a huge number of people that brands need to communicate with, especially when it comes to customer service. And this is where bots can help! Bots don’t have the limitations of the human workforce. They promise users the world and deliver (sometimes pizza!) Through Facebook messenger, bots help consumers do anything they need or want online. Users can book an airline ticket, order food, or call an Uber with speed and ease. And we all know, in the world of five-second Google searches and three-second attention spans, a better user experience is always the quicker, easier one.

To make things even easier, consumers already on Messenger don’t need to sign-up all over again to try a new service. It already knows who you are and once you start a conversation, your transaction history is right there, threaded into one neat stream of conversation. Facebook just eliminated five minutes of download and registration time, not to mention the time it saves the user from toggeling between apps.

This system of “conversational commerce” is already well tested in China, where 600 million people already use a similar messaging app, WeChat, every month to hail taxis, book doctor’s appointments, and pay utility bills. So chatting with a bot should feel “natural.”

The technology is still relatively new so recently many businesses have been jumping on the opportunity to be the first in their sector to offer bots. Soon, we’ll start seeing more brands jump in the mix to create an audience and provide their consumers a personalized experience.