Bots are Dead, Long Live the Bots
The eulogies are pouring in. Bots, one of the most buzzed-about technologies in the last few years, were supposed to transform the way we interacted with our homes, our devices, and the brands and services we use to make our lives better. When Facebook Messenger opened up its platform to developers in 2016, an estimated 100,000 chat bots were created the following year.
Not many thrived. So, what happened? It's not the technology that hasn't caught on; it's that publishers and other creators build bots for content delivery when they're best for audience engagement. The vast majority of bots fail because they were designed to fail. But in the Quartz Bot Studio, we see industry-leading retention and engagement. Our bots converse with audiences that have successfully completed 20-hour user journeys, solved seven-week mysteries, or 12-day crash courses. Along the way, we’ve built highly-engaged communities that persist for weeks and months.
Because we were among the earliest adopters of conversational platforms, we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. Our advice is that you design for users, invest them in the journey, and lead them somewhere incredible. Remember that you’re reaching people in a space and format that they’ve already used for years to speak with friends and family. Tailor your conversations to each individual, learn from them, and use this feedback loop to evolve the way you communicate.
If you do that, you can build long-term relationships with your audiences that are deep, personal, and meaningful. And you’ll see that bots are very much alive; it’s just that the reports of their death have been highly exaggerated.