It’s been 3 months since Mark Zuckerberg unleashed the world of chat bots for Facebook messenger at the F8 conference. Things haven’t been the same ever since.
These chat bots entered with a huge hype for a revolutionized customer experience. It was believed that tapping into potential clientele would become easier, business platforms could refine their communication with consumers and have prompt outcomes from these interactions.
The chat bots were pegged to provide an intimacy to the conversations with clients as a substitution for human interaction. Which isn’t exactly how it was perceived by users. Rather than initiation of a fluid experience, the chat bots brought friction with them in terms of fluidity, since the whole process of ordering a product or requesting for a service happens on the messenger, but for payment the customer has to move to a payment portal. Chat bots need data from the consumer, which will require them to type and explain what their need is, this is again a disadvantage when consumers have an instant access to products and services with a tap of their thumb. The chat bots do however gain brownie points when customer service is in question, with instant gratification and playing on time.
Another reason why chat bots are going to be the first choice is because they will be readily available since everyone has messenger installed on their mobile devices. Downloading an app will take more time, need sign ups and then get you what you need, chat bots are quicker, more accessible.
So, what’s Facebook’s strategy now? Facebook realized the limitations that surrounded chat bots and the resistance that was met, thus recoiling and moving to a micro app framework. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept of micro apps, they are as the name suggested small REST applications that were designed one sole purpose of being integrated with other applications, since on their own they aren’t useful or helpful. They occupy less space, and once integrated with an application they can change the entire way an application functions. The micro app framework that Facebook is working on is under-wraps, but it seems it shall soon roll out for the consumers to see. Will the micro-app framework work in Facebook’s favor? How do they plan to mould the platform’s functionality with a micro app, and the kind of changes they plan to bring with it’s integration is what intrigues me, and is something that will unfold with time.