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Twitter is giving brands a new way to promote their chatbots

Twitter has found its ownway to participate in the growing chatbot trend. The company announced today a new feature for advertisers, which allows businesses on Twitter to promote ads designed to pullconsumers into personalized experiences within Direct Messaging including interactions with chatbots. For example, one brand is running a bot that can help you with a cocktail recommendation after you provide answers to questions about occasion or flavor. These interactions get started via a promoted Direct Message Card, as the new, customizable card for businesses is called.

The cocktail bot Bot-Tender comes from spiritsbrandPatrn Tequila, which is kicking off the launch of Twitters new featurewith its own Promoted Tweet campaign using the new card style.

The Direct Message Card can be customized using either an image or video and up to four call-to-action buttons meant to encourage Twitter users to slide into a brands DMs. (Im sorry.)

The cards arenot about pushing people to bots thathelp solve customer service issuesor encouragepurchases from the brand in question, as is the focus of manyFacebook chatbots. Instead, theyre about getting people to interact with the brand through a private messaging experience thats meant to be fun, not transactional.

Another example where the card could be used though it has since passed wasthe March Madness bracket builder that Wendys launched earlier this year.In this case, an automated experience let fans create their brackets via DM, then revisit them throughout the tournament to see how they did as well aswin prizes.

Businesses taking advantage of the new format can also prompt consumers to reshare the experience through a tweet prompt, following their interaction with the bot in question.

Whether or not consumers will actively embrace bots at scale still remains to be seen.

Many of the early attempts in this space have fallen short of consumer expectations. Facebooks first chatbots, for instance, annoyed people by pretending to be a person leaving customers feeling like they were interacting with the messaging-based version of a call centers phone menu. And their shopping or information-sharing experiences were often not any easier than visiting the businesss own website.

Despite chatbots uncertain future, many companies have invested in thisspace. Microsoft unveiled a bot framework and chatbots for Skype last year, and more recently added support for chatbots to LinkedIn; messaging apps beyond Facebooks Messenger are also adding bots, as with Telegrams newly added support for shopping bots; and Google is making a play for the backend of the chatbot space, with its chatbot analytics platform, Chatbase.

Twitter though home to many auto-tweeting bots seems to be justtesting the waters with chatbots, to see if its something brands will want to adopt and want to then promote through Twitter ads.

The companys earlier efforts in terms of brands and their DMs have instead focused more on the bigger business of customer support interactions. The company has rolled out featureslikewelcome messages, quick replies, custom profiles, location sharing, and other tools that let businesses augment their customer support interactions with automation. But things like a welcome message or quick reply arentreallyconsidered bots.

The new Direct Message Cards are launching now into beta, and are only open to Twitter advertisers.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/23/twitter-is-giving-brands-a-new-way-to-promote-their-chatbots/

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