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Facebook Businesses Communications Software

Facebook Brags That Messenger Has 300,000 Business Bots (mashable.com) 92

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Mashable: At F8, Facebook's Vice President of Messaging Products, David Marcus, jovially reported that Messenger's integration with business is going swimmingly. According to Marcus, over 8 billion messages have been sent between people and businesses. And there are 300,000 monthly active bots engaging with customers on messenger. Facebook introduced messenger bots for businesses at F8 in 2016. The idea is that bots allow for automated communication between businesses and customers, helping with issues like product recommendations and customer service. According to Marcus, that 300,000 number grew from just 100,000 monthly active bots in its first year.
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Facebook Brags That Messenger Has 300,000 Business Bots

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 02, 2018 @09:11AM (#56541040)

    If only we could build a corresponding network of consumer bots, that interact with business bots asking for product recommendations and silly questions about products. We could then just sit down, and enjoy the fight ongoing between the two sides of bots!

    • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2018 @09:15AM (#56541072)
      >> If only we could build a corresponding network of consumer bots, that interact with business bots

      Congratulations, you invented "Twitter"
    • You're more correct than you know. Consumer side bots = intelligent agents! The old dream of a digital butler that pursues your interests while you're otherwise engaged. The funny thing is Facebook is the right company to build them.

      All these business bots just outsource the cognitive burden to us users

      • Unlikely. Why should they give their users (i.e. their product) the ability to circumvent and weed out the spam their actual customers want to push onto them?

        • by AvitarX ( 172628 )

          I've never been spammed by a business bot on Facebook.

          I've had a couple interactions.

          One was opening a support ticket, and it worked like phone prompts but far quicker. I preferred it to an automated phone system, and also when compared to forms with drop downs etc. some websites use. It was quite effective for getting my ticket to the correct person that gave me a prompt human response, and wasn't a terrible way to follow up on said ticket.

          The other one I used is TRIM, and it was maybe more accurately a co

      • by HiThere ( 15173 )

        Sorry, but no. You need to be able to trust the company that builds your agent.

    • by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2018 @10:54AM (#56541552)

      You: "Alexa - I need an ambulance!"

      Alexa: "An ambulance has been added to your shopping cart."

  • I prefer the term "AI Assistants". They are missing an opportunity here.
  • Worse than useless (Score:5, Informative)

    by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2018 @09:17AM (#56541080) Homepage

    Bots are what you do when you want to pretend you're listening to your customers but don't really want to put any effort into actual engagement. Kind of like automated phone menus. Occasionally helpful but mostly a waste of time.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 02, 2018 @09:28AM (#56541130)

      Bots are what you do when you want to pretend you're listening to your customers but don't really want to put any effort into actual engagement. Kind of like automated phone menus. Occasionally helpful but mostly a waste of time.

      Thank you for your post. Your feedback as a valued /. poster is important to us. We are sorry to hear about your negative experience with us. We will take your valuable feedback under careful consideration and will strive to do better next time.

      Sincerely,
      Bots

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      "Your service is very important to us; that's why Siri's cheaper brother is handling this request..."

    • Slashdot on Facebook uses an automated 'bot in its messenger system! SLASH-BOT. Who points the finger at the finger pointer? Who curses the recursive bots?
      • by HiThere ( 15173 )

        Silly, look at the word. Recursive bots curse themselves.

        OTOH, I don't think by curse I mean "swear at".

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2018 @09:17AM (#56541082)

    What exactly is it that should make me enjoy having 300,000 spambots in a messaging system? Or why should I use that messaging system when the owner itself not only admits but actually brags that they exist?

    It kinda tells me that they think spamming users with corporate junk is a good idea, and that they aren't even clever enough to hide that.

  • Being led by one Zuckerbot, harvesting human data on an industrial scale.
  • The only issue with that is that there are far too many of them. These messages are called spam.
  • Sounds like a great way to maximize shareholder value... Look at the impressions that we can create. Who cares that they are vapid and devoid of any real value.
  • ... that the company I work for has the good sense to steer clear of letting FB get its foot in the door here.
  • "automated communication", from the article quote, is a nonsense term. Communication is missives sent from a person to another person (or organization). Source(s) for statement(s) always trace to someone.

    An automated alert or spam-cast HR garbage is not via a human; it is from a machine making a decision based on rules it was provided. That's not thinking. The courts should bear this out in 5 or 10 years.

    This is the first step of The Automation of Middle Management, so I applaud it. Eject the leeches.

    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      Not so. Automated communication happens all the time. Nothing about it requires the intervention of a person. In fact, the presence of a person in the link inevitably degrades the process. You can't transmit information without communicating over a channel.

      And this is far from the first step of the automation of middle management. Many middle managers have already been replaced.

      All that said, what's being talked about seems to definitely count as spam. As in:
      "We've got more spam than anyone e

"Yeah, but you're taking the universe out of context."

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