Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is expected to hold its annual developer conference this week and this time, investors should be excited about bots.
The company plans to launch bots which will help users in their day to day activities such as communicating via text and even selling products to users. Ben Schachter, a Macquarie analyst, told investors that Facebook will most likely launch a “bot store” which will provide bots for the Messenger app. The bots will try to manage Messenger as an app that runs numerous bots to perform tasks that are traditionally performed by apps.
According to Forrester’s research data posted on the Economist, the app market has been maturing, and smartphone users have been spending about 80% of their handset time on just five apps every month. Mr. Schachter stated that users will get to chat with Facebook bots through chats, and the bots could exist in different areas including advertising and ecommerce.
Facebook is not the only company that is excited about the use of bots. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) also has plans to introduce bots for its Skype services while the Canadian firm behind Kik has plans to launch automated assistants that will handle information and services throughout a number of businesses. Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) recently ventured into chatbot arena with the launch of its bot called Tay, but the project was not much of a success because the bot became racist.
A messaging service known as Slack has also been acknowledged for its bots. The service can be configured to respond to specific keywords or to warn people when their roles are being affected by something. Messaging software companies in Asia have enjoyed great success through the use of bots to carry out activities such as booking appointments with the doctor or even buying products.
Facebook is expected to launch bots that are geared towards similar tasks as those from the Asian messaging companies. The company has already teamed up with a few retailers and other firms for its Messenger efforts. The bots will also have some human supervision.