Last week, Kik beat its competitors to the punch byintroducing Chatbots – interactive software powered by artificial intelligence designed to simulate human conversations that are becoming increasingly popular for brands to engage with customers. Kik, which at last count had over 275 million users, was the first of what is expected to be many social focused companiesimplementing bot technology.
A total of 16 brands launched bots on Kik each offering different services. Makeup company Sephora is using a bot to offer tips on products and beauty advice, H&M is offering fashion counseling and The Weather Channel…that should be pretty easy to guess. Whilst they’re the first company that has gone big on bots, they’re not the first to use artificial intelligence. Apple has Siri, Microsoft has Cortana, Slack has aton of bots already and even Skype is gettingin on the action.
So what’s next for bots? Quite a lot by the looks of it. Microsoft head honcho Satya Nadella has claimed ‘bots will be bigger than apps‘ before too long but all eyes will be on Facebook this week. Withrumours abound that Mr Zuckerberg will introduce a bot store for Facebook Messenger at the company’s annual developer conference, having engaging conversations with artificial intelligence could be about tohit the mainstream.