Mark Zuckerberg has made it clear that fake profiles and soviet robots have no place on Facebook.
But worry not, robots. ‘Messenger’ is still a hospitable home for bots like you.
At F8, Facebook’s Vice President of Messaging Products, David Marcus, jovially reported that Messenger’s integration with business is going swimmingly. According to Marcus, over 8 billion messages have been sent between people and businesses. And there are 300,000 monthly active bots engaging with customers on messenger.
Facebook introduced messenger bots for businesses at F8 in 2016. The idea is that bots allow for automated communication between businesses and customers, helping with issues like product recommendations and customer service. According to Marcus, that 300,000 number grew from just 100,000 monthly active bots in its first year.
David Marcus’ Messenger updates struck an odd tone in comparison with the rest of F8. In his keynote, Mark Zuckerberg emphasized that he wants Facebook to be a “people first” platform.
“When I look out today it still surprises me how little of our technology is designed to put people first,” Zuckerberg said. “I believe that we need to design technology to help bring people closer together.”
“People first” messaging pervaded the rest of F8, with Instagram, WhatsApp, and other product updates stressing how Facebook is helping to enrich interpersonal relationships. It mirrors Facebook’s refocus on users over news, that it announced in the midst of questions about fake news and Russian troll accounts.
But we can’t forget that advertising and commerce is what makes Facebook’s financial world go ’round. So, Facebook may be attempting to quell the “bad actor” bots from its platform. But when it comes to helpful bots that assist people in buying things? The more the merrier.