Let’s enter a new world. A world that is connected in unique ways and powered by new advancements in technology. Over the course of the last few years, we’ve learned that humans are instinctively extremely social beings. We long to share our experiences with one another in real time, personally inviting those close to us to experience life in unison. Facebook has emerged at the forefront of bringing individuals together digitally and developed a semi-comfortable space for these social interactions to mature. Facebook bots have shined a light on developers all over the world actively utilizing the messenger platform. These developers are incrementally making the world we live in easier to navigate, share, and evolve one Facebook bot at a time. There is such diversity to using bots–you can even have a personal umbrella bot, a personal travel agent bot, a mental health bot. The opportunities are endless.
If you’re over the age of 5, there’s a good chance you’ve probably heard of or used Facebook. That’s because Facebook boasts over 2.2 billion users worldwide. You’re probably familiar with the basics: the infamous like, share, and follow. These actions have become somewhat natural and have been replicated across the entire social media industry. For the purpose of this article, we’re going to navigate Facebook in a slightly different way–with Facebook bots. We will be assuming the alias of a character named Brian. Brian is a 32-year old NY based portfolio manager with the entire world at his feet.
Beginning the day
It’s 7 am and the bright sun illuminates the windows of Brian’s 47th floor Manhattan loft. Brian opens his eyes and immediately begins to ponder the day ahead of him. Like many of us, his first instinct is to reach for his phone. Brian is anxious to get up to speed on the latest news and immediately opens the Facebook app.
Interesting… Brian spends a few minutes reading but quickly realizes he’d better start getting ready for work. He leaves the Facebook app and opens the weather application that came pre-installed on his device. This is currently how many business professionals like Brian utilize their smartphone. What if I told you Brian could have the same information delivered directly to his messaging app on Facebook? He can.
Weather and personal umbrella bot
Poncho, a weather and personal umbrella bot, is one of the most popular Facebook bots. Poncho responds to user questions like “Do I need a jacket today?” or “Should I bring my umbrella to the new product launch party this evening?”
Poncho can provide a conversational experience that can provide hourly, weekly, or daily forecasts, in addition to updates on pollen count and humidity levels. Not only does using a bot like this save time, but they’re also extremely fun and somewhat quirky.
Heading to Work
Now that Brian is dressed and ready for the day ahead of him, it’s time to head into the office. He proudly walks into the front doors of 4 World Trade Ctr and rides the elevator all the way up to the 54th floor before remembering the massive sales meeting he’d scheduled with a Denver based company the week prior.
Uh oh. Without a flight, hotel, or itinerary insight, Brian has found himself in a pickle. He could begin to comb the world wide web in hopes of finding a great deal, or he could solve all of his worried with yet another Facebook bot.
Personal travel agent bot
Hipmunk promotes itself as your very own personal travel agent. The Hipmunk bot allows a user to search for flights and hotels from one central place and is housed in the messenger platform. With very little effort, Brian can make a selection and be confident in knowing he’s receiving the best deal out of a pool of great options.
To take the cool factor of a travel chatbot up a notch here’s something else a travel chatbot can do: save you money. Flight delays, cancellations, or other similar issues are a nuisance to us all. We simply hate feeling that our time is being wasted and many airlines have implemented compensation programs to make up for the trouble. The problem is that many of these programs are hidden and not widely-known amongst the general public.
Instalocate is a Facebook messenger bot that analyzes the flight status of flights you enter into the system. It automatically notifies the user when a flight has been canceled and immediately begins to look for ways to get the user some compensation for their trouble. The bot requires no direct contact between the user themselves and the airline and takes just about every part of the entire process into their own hands.
Brian may have been late making his arrangements, but he’ll have absolutely no problem keeping them.
Mental Health is important
As Brian arrives at the airport, he begins to think of all of the things currently happening in his life. His girlfriend is becoming increasingly upset with the amount of time he’s spending on the road. His parents are continuously questioning the reasons why he doesn’t see his family as important. The pressure is beginning to take a real toll on Brian’s well-being.
Mental health bot
I know this sounds partially insensitive but believe it or not, there’s a chatbot for that as well. In a world where we’re constantly buried deep into our smart devices, Woebot provides meaningful interactions whilst coupling artificial intelligence with years of psychology research. The bot advertises itself as your charming robot friend that exists just to listen to you. 24/7.
So… why Facebook bots?
Facebook Messenger has proved itself to be one of the most effective ways to communicate with family and friends online. With over 2 billion people on the platform, users can gain instant access to content and communication abroad. This is great for personal use, but at some point, the industry looks for ways to monetize these new methods of communication. For example, Spotify uses Messenger to get users to discover new music.
For developers, Facebook Messenger is the perfect platform for your chatbot. Interact with users in a place they frequent on their own. If you’re hoping to eventually release a bot on your website, Facebook Messenger can also serve as a great bot checker. You can use a company like Dashbot to monitor your analytics and see just how the chatbot is performing in real-time. This is helpful and will take your Facebook bots to the next level.
For users, Facebook bots are just simple. They’re relatively easy to interact with because of the familiarity we’ve developed with Facebook and Facebook Messenger. They provide useful solutions to real-world problems and take overall productivity to new heights. Brian tried them, you should too.