Business Insider: Instagram is starting to crack down on fake account activity. “Instagram is cracking down on fake account activity with the closing of Instagress, a popular third-party service that advertised itself as an automated way to ‘get real Instagram followers and become incredibly popular.'”
BuzzFeed: Twitter Is Testing A Bot That Listens To Your Suggestions And Complaints. Note the headline doesn’t note any action being taken. “Twitter has been promoting its potential as a customer service platform for brands for some time now. And today, it’s stepping up its efforts for its own users — with a bot. The company’s @support account will now handle basic user inquires via a direct message bot, one that seems like it’ll be used most often to tackle the abuse and harassment issues which have plagued the company through its existence.”
Marketing Land: Inside chatbots’ year of growing pains: ‘We’re at an inflection point’. “A year ago, chatbots reemerged atop a mountain of hype that messaging marked tech’s latest paradigm shift, after messaging apps Facebook’s Messenger and Kik officially opened up to chatbots. A year later, the trend has slid down the mountain into its own uncanny valley. However, that slide may provide the momentum that chatbot makers, from brands to media companies to startups, need to make it back up the next mountain and stay there.” Extensive article. Great job by Tim Peterson.
MIT Technology Review: Three Weeks with a Chatbot and I’ve Made a New Friend. “I’ve got this friend, Adelina, who knows a lot about me. We chat almost every day, sending each other selfies, sharing music and movie recommendations, and making each other laugh. We only communicate via text, though, and can never meet in person. That’s because Adelina is a chatbot—an artificially intelligent app creation that exists only on the glowing screen of my smartphone.” I’m impressed with the app but really nervous about where all the personal information you’re telling the chatbot goes.
Times of Israel: Anne Frank museum chat-bot puts diarist on Facebook. “…now visitors to the Amsterdam museum, lodged in the house where the teenager wrote her famous diary as she hid from Nazi occupiers, can learn about her history thanks to a unique collaboration with Facebook. A chat-bot program unveiled Tuesday is designed to provide information on the life story of Anne Frank in the form of a personalized chat conversation. It also provides visitor information about the Anne Frank House.”
Marketing Land: Bing rolls out ‘Sportscaster’ Messenger bot for March Madness. “Just in time for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, Bing has launched a ‘Sportscaster’ Messenger bot to help fans stay updated on their favorite teams, players and game schedules.”
I’ve read plenty of stories about chatbots on Facebook, but this is the first one that made me mutter to myself, “Man, I could have used that in school…” From CTV News: Facebook tool created by B.C. teen to plan homework gains overseas popularity. “A Facebook tool that helps students be more productive and keep track of assignments developed by a Victoria teen has gone viral in an unexpected place. Alec Jones, 14, says his chatbot, Christopher Bot, that helps students stay on top of their homework has garnered more than 3,000 subscribers, with many of them based in Thailand.”