5 Reasons Why Chatbot Skeptics Are Wrong
As someone who can’t shut up about Facebook messenger bots, I’ve been asked and told plenty of times already..
“It’s just a matter of time until Facebook shuts it down.”
I actually just read another article about someone who thinks Facebook spent all this time and money to develop and launch chatbots, just to shut them down again..
It’s possible the majority of people who read this have already bought into bots, so I may be preaching to the choir here.
In any case, anyone that’s building bots for clients is going to run into someone who you’ll need to convince of the fact that bots are here to stay, and here’s some ammunition for you.
How can I be so sure that Messenger bots are not a fad?
#1 — If this were a test, chatbots wouldn’t be available worldwide
Well let’s think about this. Facebook & all the other social platforms test new ideas all the time, the difference here is that Messenger Bots are already worldwide, available to every single Facebook Page administrator.
If Facebook were just testing this, well a Swedish guy who lives in Poland wouldn’t have access to this feature.
For this reason alone I know Facebook has carefully gone over the pro’s and con’s of Messenger Bots, and decided this is the way forward.
Which brings me to reason #2.
#2 — Chatbots are not some new experiment with unknown results, this is a proven strategy
Look, Facebook didn’t come up with chatbots, they are simply replicating the success that the Chinese WeChat has had with being a chat, app, and payment processing service, all in one.
I’d have more understanding for the “fad” argument if this actually was an experiment, but it’s not.
#3 — Facebook will make lots of money from Messenger Bots
The math is pretty simple: the more messages are sent in Messenger, the more time will be spent there.
The more time is spent in Messenger the more advertising opportunities for Facebook.
And if you didn’t know: Facebook is running out of advertising real estate since millions of advertisers are joining. They had 1 million new advertisers join the platform in just 7 months.
I personally don’t see ads inside Messenger yet, but friends of mine have reported seeing them. There you go. More chatbots = more money.
Some people seem to think Facebook is some saint company who only care about “connecting people”.
They are a publicly traded company whose RESPONSIBILITY is first and foremost economic.
Translation: make more money, or we’re gonna be pissed at you.
#4 — It’s way bigger than just a marketing opportunity
When I originally got into chatbots not too long ago, I got into it for the 80%+ open rates, and I thought that was all it had to offer.
Well last weekend I built a whole game inside Messenger, and I’m not even a programmer.
In this chatbot game you start with no money, you can work to acquire cash, invest that in property to grow your wealth, loan money, and even gamble if you needed quick cash.
(I went $60k in debt in my own game, but that’s besides the point here. 😂)
It turns out that a chatbot is a lot more than an automated conversation.
You can create all kinds of things with a chatbot, even without any programming skills.
As I spoke to prospective clients who wanted me to build their bots for them, who also happened to be way smarter than me, I realized something.
Messenger chatbots are going to save us hours of our precious time.
What if you walked into a nice little coffee shop.. sat down, opened up Messenger, scanned a little code on the menu at your table, paid for it right inside Messenger, and 4 minutes later a bearded barista named Manuel showed up and delivered your espresso.
I don’t know about you, but that turns me on.. (not Manuel, the Messenger bot stuff)..
Well this same concept applies to A LOT of other use cases.
Restaurants. Festivals. Hotels. Bars.
And if you think I’m crazy here, just go talk to anyone who sells app development, or anyone that paid someone to develop an app for them.
Their biggest problem is getting app downloads.
For this reason a lot of current app owners should strongly consider making a chatbot version of their app, if possible (there are definitely limitations to Messenger bots).
We should expect a lot of app folks to develop Messenger versions of their apps as it will help them get more users.
Less friction = happier/more users.
To summarize this point: the marketing is one aspect of chatbots, and the effectiveness of that will go down (this is the main argument of chatbot skeptics by the way).
But there’s something far bigger here, which is the app development (like my game) and payment side of things.
Messenger is going to save us time, and anything that saves people time is going to have a strong chance of winning.
#5 — Chatbots have been planned for a long time
Remember when the Messenger app first came out in 2011?
I was very confused.
We had the Facebook app.
Inside the app we had full access to sending people messages, so when the stand alone Messenger app came out, I couldn’t wrap my head around why.
Why did we need it?
There was no value add for a standalone Messenger app with the functionality it had when it came out.
Well, I’m starting to realize that they were heading down this road of making Messenger much more than just a place to communicate with your friends.
It’s going to be a social media platform of its own, where we communicate, order ubers, pay for coffees, get styling tips, and keep our todo lists (I already built a bot for this too).
This is just the beginning.
There you go, those are 5 reasons I believe Facebook bots are here to stay.
Now if you want to talk to me about open & click through rates decreasing then that’s another discussion, and no one is denying that. There’s no doubt we will see a decline in both open rates & CTR in the next 24 months.
But no, Facebook bots are not a fad. They will not be shut down, although restrictions may get less favorable for marketers, they may get more favorable.. Who knows..
However, chatbots have a lot more to offer than automated messages and marketing opportunities.
Although to be honest with you, the results from the marketing side of things would be a strong enough argument to get onto chatbots anyway. As a small business we did about $15,000 in profit from a webinar that was entirely promoted with bots. No landing page. No emails. Just a chatbot. That’s big.
That first mover advantage is also pretty sweet (my first business still ranks #1 on google and makes me thousands of dollars a month, just because I was first in a marketplace).
Thank you for reading.