Publishers are still focussed on Facebook and Twitter, while chatbots take over the world

Tell us about Chat Apps (0:02)

For many of us in our side of the business we haven’t actually used them much ourselves so it’s a bit of an unknown, but chat apps are rapidly taking over social media. They’re bigger than social media today, yet most publishers are still focussed on what they’re doing on Facebook and Twitter.

So are we looking at the demise of the website? (0:22)

It’s going to be and that’s the scariest bit – and a bit I actually didn’t want to tell you – and that’s that someday websites are going to be irrelevant. What we’re going to see in the future due to artificial intelligence and bots is a whole new way of searching online, which doesn’t require you to go into a website and bots actually become our new websites. 

Bots – is there ultimately a human control? (0:47)

No there isn’t in fact it’s all machine learning and artificial intelligence. But, that said, at the moment there’s real people doing the initial programming and anticipating questions and designing what the interface will look like. The machines will learn from that. 

Is a desire for privacy helping to drive this? (1:01)

I do think that there’s a sea change. I think that we’re seeing… there was this heady rush to the internet: it was all fun, and new, and interesting, and we all raced to the next new thing. But I think there’s been a backlash and kindof a return to, ‘Hey wait a minute, did I give away too much in all of that? Do I want my privacy back?’ I mean we just saw the hack from Yahoo become public – there’s 5 million people in the UK who had their accounts hacked. It gives people pause and makes them think maybe I don’t want to be putting it all out there on the internet. 

So what do publishers need to do now? (1:32)

They need to start experimenting. The great thing about chatbots, and chat apps, is that you can experiment. And start to learn yourself what’s working. And start to explore. And really look at the landscape that’s available to you, because each chat app has a different style of audience and a different personality. So the ones that are right for your brand are a good place to start.     

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