A few weeks ago, we were introduced to the idea of ChatBots on the Facebook Messenger app – a form of artificial intelligence that businesses will soon be using (and are already using) in order to “have interactive conversations” with their customers and promote their products or services.
The social media giant has recently announced its plans to start testing various things, such as News Feed ads that would directly take users to message threads, allowing brands to start sending their potential customers “sponsored” message snippets.
It had already been reported that Facebook had planned to implement these features in the second quarter this year, however there has been some confusion as to whether or not brands will able to reach out to people who haven’t had any previous connection (ie, previously liked or visited their page).
Business Insider has revealed that brands are unable to start chatting with you out of the blue, however they are able to send you sponsored posts. The website also revealed that a Facebook user was sent a ChatBot from a shoe brand that she had only visited the website once (not their actual Facebook page):
It’s important to remember that if you are logged into Facebook while browsing the web, Facebook recognizes what websites you have visited, and therefore brands can use this information to send you these sponsored messages.
Users can block these messages as they would with any other message they receive from an unknown user.
The question is – how far is Facebook willing to go with this form of advertising? We’re all used to seeing numerous (some say too many) ads on our feeds, however there’s something especially intrusive about receiving ads through our Messenger inbox.
Have you received anything similar through your Messenger? How do you feel about it?