Meta is launching a range of AI-powered chatbots that could improve its targeted advertising capabilities.
The chatbots, which could come as early as September, reportedly have the ability to collect large amounts of data regarding users’ interests.
It’s expected that the new technology will also boost engagement across Meta’s platforms, as the chatbots, which all exhibit different personalities, will be able to have humanlike conversations with Meta’s 4 billion users, reports the Financial Times.
Why we care. Improved targeted advertising could enable marketers to increase conversions by helping their campaigns reach the right audiences. It could also help brands connect with previously untapped markets, improving overall reach.
However, there is a but… This new technology has raised concerns about data privacy. If a brand inadvertently violates people’s privacy rights, it could suffer reputational damage that is difficult to repair, and also create distrust amongst potential customers, which could be harmful to ROI in the long-term.
Why now? Despite getting off to an impressive start and becoming the fastest growing social media platform in history, Meta’s Threads has now lost half of its users less than a month after it launched. Meta is now trying to attract more users and retain current ones as it faces competition from rival platforms like TikTok. The company is reportedly hoping that its new AI chatbots will help retain users by increasing engagement.
It’s worth noting that Snap rolled out its My AI chatbot back in February and so far, 150 million users have interacted with it.
Meta’s chatbots with character. During an earnings call on Wednesday, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company doesn’t think people will interact with one single AI. So, to improve engagement for its users, Meta has created a range of characters for its chatbots, which insiders have nicknamed “personas”.
Some of the characters created include former US President Abraham Lincoln. Another prototype includes a surfer persona, which advises users on travel options.
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What has Meta said? Mark Zuckerberg is expected to give an update on Meta’s chatbot plans next month. However, back in February, he opened up about the company’s AI targets in a Facebook post, which read:
- “We’re creating a new top-level product group at Meta focused on generative AI to turbocharge our work in this area. We’re starting by pulling together a lot of the teams working on generative AI across the company into one group focused on building delightful experiences around this technology into all of our different products.”
- “In the short term, we’ll focus on building creative and expressive tools. Over the longer term, we’ll focus on developing AI personas that can help people in a variety of ways. We’re exploring experiences with text (like chat in WhatsApp and Messenger), with images (like creative Instagram filters and ad formats), and with video and multi-modal experiences.”
- “We have a lot of foundational work to do before getting to the really futuristic experiences, but I’m excited about all of the new things we’ll build along the way.”
Deep dive. Read our article on why chatbots launched by other platforms such as Google and Microsoft have been causing concern amongst advertisers.