ZAC! by Emanuela Zaccone The most famous Cluetrain Manifesto thesis stated that markets are conversations. We were on the threshold of the 2000s, social media would soon (further) demonstrate the prophetic power of the thesis, while we would increasingly become accustomed to dialogue with brands on Facebook, to request assistance (…)
by Emanuela Zaccone
The most famous Cluetrain Manifesto thesis stated that the markets are conversations. We were on the threshold of the 2000s, just a little social media would have demonstrated (further) the prophetic power of the thesis, while we would have become increasingly used to dialogue with brands on Facebook, to request assistance via Twitter, to spy on the behind-the-scenes on Snapchat or Vine. And in our turn becoming (personal) brand. A few years later, in this well-defined panorama, the instant messaging apps would have begun to play the part of lions: during the Mobile World Congress, Telegram declared that it had reached the quota of 100 million monthly active users, against the 800 million Facebook Messenger and the Whatsapp billion. We communicate very privately, often for specific needs. So, when a few months ago Facebook announced the arrival of M, a virtual assistant who would first support the partners, then also the other brands and users for activities such as booking a restaurant, buying a piece of clothing and much more, the general attention is moved towards a possible integration of artificial intelligence into our usual communicative spaces. In fact there are several possible models: in fact, it goes from a total integration of the AI to the use of a mixed system – like Facebook M – that mixes human intervention and artificial intelligence, the all of course with a machine learning component that allows the system to learn based on the answers and therefore improve, becoming more precise and in line with our needs. The bots have started to appear on Telegram and several apps have been built in this type of service interaction. In San Francisco you can search and book a restaurant with Luka.ai, instead x.ai will organize meetings based on your calendar commitments, while Quartz lands on mobile with a completely dialogical app that allows you to explore and possibly deepen the latest news published on the platform. called conversational design, simplifying: the idea of creating experiences – mainly mobile – that have their main figure in the dialogic structure and in the use of bots. As mentioned, however, it does not translate into a disappearance of human action which, in many cases, remains the purpose and the main mode of interaction between users: the case, for example, of Peach that beyond his magic words – keywords that allow you to activate different bots -, basically, a simple messaging application. The same applies to Telegram.The consequences of evolution In concrete terms, however, what could this mean for the evolution of the social media system in a broad sense?
1) Services increasingly managed in an automated way: less work for the community managers and greater possibility for users to receive unambiguous answers (because they are pre-established and independent from the natural person who responds to a request), as well as being able to eventually solve specific needs and perform tasks quickly.
2) Better profiling of users' habits and interests to create ad hoc offers and offer more and more personalized experiences and – why not? – predictive.
3) Exclusive interaction between man and machine, ie entire dialogues that will not necessarily imply the presence of a natural person. The real difficulty, if anything, in the implementation of interfaces of this type: how many are the possible variants of a user's interaction? How to manage requests and feedback? How to guide it within a dialogical situation?
So basically, how to draw authentically conversational experiences?
on this type of development that plays most of the future of AI within the messaging apps. Not only that, but the development of bots undoubtedly remains one of the trends to follow for 2016: how can they enrich the user experience? To what extent will they constitute sufficient dialogue and interaction to replace the need to interact with other users? Above all, what economic impact will these systems have? Suffice it to say that Slack has created a $ 80 million fund for startups that develop bots and apps that can be integrated into its platform. Because when conversations become markets, the most valuable commodity is time spent by users on interaction.
* Emanuela Zaccone, Digital Entrepreneur, Co-founder and Social Media Strategist of TOK.tv. He has over 7 years of experience as a consultant and lecturer in Social Media Analysis and Strategy for large companies, startups and universities. In 2011 he completed a PhD between the universities of Bologna and Nottingham with a thesis on Social Media Marketing and Social TV.