Adweek: Quartz’s New Chatbot Is Bringing Conversational News to Facebook Messenger. “This year’s South by Southwest has been a world filled with over-the-top brand activations, surprise visits from Elon Musk and plenty of new products. Quartz took advantage of the atmosphere of the festival and released Quartz for Messenger on March 8. With its new chatbot, Quartz hopes to deliver the news and other content to users on Facebook’s Messenger.”
Quartz: This new Twitter account hunts for bots that push political opinions. “One account features a photo of a middle-aged woman, and a bio that reads ‘Patriot, self employed, loving mother and grandmother.’ Another has a photo of a younger woman in sunglasses, described in the bio as a ‘NonProfit Exec born to LEGAL Immigrants who owned laundromat for 30 yrs to earn our #AmericanDream. #PresidentTrump #ProIsrael🇮🇱 #ThankAVet #BackTheBlue #MAGA.’ Both Twitter accounts frequently tweet or retweet in support of US president Donald Trump and in opposition to everything from immigrants, to the National Football League, to CNN. They’ve both had accounts on Twitter since 2012—and they both appear to be bots.”
Quartz is launching a bot studio. Because it’s all about the bots. No treble. “Quartz is betting big on bots. The Atlantic Media-owned outlet is getting a $240,000 grant from the Knight Foundation to launch Quartz Bot Studio, a group focused on developing three bot-related projects in the coming year, for everything from messaging platforms like Slack to voice interfaces like the Amazon Echo (disclosure: Knight is a supporter of Nieman Lab). Quartz will contribute its own resources to the Studio as well, and intends for the projects to continue after its first year.”
Huh. Quartz has created its own economic index tool. “Quartz Index is a collection of eight numerical indicators, from drone registrations and SpaceX launches to Hong Kong retail sales and retirement fund investment decisions. These indicators will be updated regularly on the Quartz Index homepage. Quartz’s editorial team will also provide regular coverage of topics related to each indicator in accompanying stories on qz.com and a weekly email roundup of key changes.”
Quartz has opened up its chart/data platform, Quartz, to everybody. (And the chart-making tools, too!) “We are opening up Atlas to chart creators around the world, from researchers to analysts to fellow journalists and anyone else who regularly works with data. You can create an Atlas account starting now. We’ll be giving people access to make charts—slowly, at first, and then more rapidly as the platform evolves.” It’s invitation-only at the moment but access will expand over time.