When Facebook released their bot feature, M, the virtual assistant living inside their Messenger platform, it was billed as the next generation of how people connect and interact with the internet. Since then, over 18,000 companies have created their own branded chatbots with the help of Facebook’s platform.
Never ones to miss out on a trend, Microsoft, Google and Apple have all been hard at work developing their own integrated chatbot features. Brands of all shapes and sizes, from American Express to 1800-Flowers to Domino’s Pizza, all have their own chatbots, proving the versatility of the concept. As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said at the 2016 Build conference, “As an industry, we are on the cusp of a new frontier that pairs the power of natural human language with advanced machine intelligence.”