Meta May Soon Release AI Chatbots to Boost User Retention (Report)

Meta’s latest AI innovation will be bringing chatbots to its platforms, which include Facebook, Instagram and Threads. The bots are being introduced to increase user retention and will feature distinct personalities and skill sets.

The chatting companions may launch as early as September, according to people with knowledge of Meta’s plans who spoke to Financial Times. A variety of chatbot “personas” are being considered for release, ranging from a surfer-style AI who can help with travel advisement as well as a bot that will speak in the style of Abraham Lincoln. These AI chatbots will be able to offer recommendations, assist with searches and hold general conversations designed to entertain human users.

A Meta representative declined to comment on the report’s contents to TheWrap.

These chatbots would fall squarely in line with two of the items Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressed during the company’s recent quarterly earnings call. First, he spoke about AI agents designed to assist users in assistant and coaching capacities, which aligns with the aforementioned report on what Meta’s chatbots will be capable of doing. And later in the earnings call, Zuckerberg also mentioned his company was focused on figuring out how to boost retention on Threads, its new X (formerly known as Twitter) competitor.

As to why Threads needs retention-boosting updates, it was recently revealed that more than half of the over 100 million people who initially joined Threads have stopped paying attention to the app. During the earnings call, Zuckerberg addressed the drop-off in users, noting that while it wasn’t ideal, it also wasn’t a disastrous scenario and was more or less in line with expectations.

Threads may be losing users as a result of the app launching without key features its primary competitor, X, has, including basic functions such as hashtags. Threads also launched without a web version, relegating it to people’s phones. While updates are coming to Threads to help remedy its lack of core features, it’s unclear whether the reported chatbots will arrive first.

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