In the near future, ads will just be part of the conversation.
Bots, and the AI technologies that drive them, are taking huge leaps forward in sophistication and reach. Facebook and Telegram recently added bot APIs to their platforms, and Apple Messages will soon allow third-parties to plug in, too. While bots had previously been limited to very specific requests, such as checking a balance or flight status, next-generation AI, like the recently unveiled Viv, will better understand context and integrate with a host of services — including programmatic advertising.
Facebook and Telegram recently added bot APIs to their platforms, and Apple Messages will soon allow third-parties to plug in, too.
Conversational commerce represents a step forward from both traditional websites and mobile apps, using one of the simplest interfaces possible: text. Bots currently allow users to carry out a host of tasks entirely via messaging: transfer money, ask questions, make purchases, book travel and check the weather. Of course, bots also send promotional messages, and soon they may serve third-party conversational ads through programmatic exchanges.
The Eastern Buttress bookends one edge of the Ampitheatre, a monumental cliff face that stretches more than three miles.
Photograph by Paul Gilmore, Austria
Fall asleep swaying in the breeze in a hand-hewn wooden orb suspended in the coastal rain forest of Vancouver Island.
Photograph by Atanas Tsvetkov
Byrsa Hill, in Tunis’s upmarket suburb of Carthage, makes a dizzying aerie to watch the sun set into the bay.
Photograph by Kalen Emsley, Canada
As with any new technology, bots need to build trust first. The more AI seeks to impersonate humans, the more the technology will be judged by human standards of etiquette and emotional intelligence. Relevance will be critical. Overwhelming consumers with promotional messages before bots have proven their worth risks alienating them. No one likes to start a new relationship only to find they’ve been tricked into a sales pitch.
Conversational advertising stands to offer several potential advantages while solving many of the current problems with display ads. For example, programmatic RTB auctions can slow down web pages and hog precious mobile data, but this won’t be an issue with bots. Because bots aren’t expected to respond in milliseconds, short pauses are fine. And text conversations use only a trickle of bandwidth.
Another key differentiator is that, like human contacts, bot relationships can persist across touch points and outside of the walled garden of messaging networks.