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Twitter features fun — not transactional — bot program


A social media giant is getting in on the chatbot wave.

Twitter launched a new, customizable Direct Message Card that brands can use to promote and share bots and other customer experiences built in its Direct Messages tool. Direct Messages helps companies create personalized ads and interactions — ranging from customer acquisition programs to engaging bots.

Specifically, a Direct Message Card enables businesses to engage users via images or video creatives. This content can include up to four fully customizable call-to-action buttons that take the user into a specific bot experience within Direct Messages. Retailers can also target the content by using Twitter Ads, which is designed to find a relevant audience to pull into personalized conversations at scale, Twitter said.

Unlike bots that solve customer service issues, these focus on getting people to interact with the brand through a private messaging experience. With a focus on fun and engagement more than transactions, according to Twitter, the tool helps companies turn their audience into advocates. Brands can also encourage users to share the “bot” experience in their own voice through a Tweet.

The bot is currently in limited beta tests with Twitter advertisers, one being e-commerce shopping app, JollyChic. Using a Direct Message Card called #JollyRamadan, the app target customers in select markets with special discount coupons for purchases, then enables customers to shop the sale of the day, browse retail options, contact customer service for support, and download the JollyChic app via Direct Messages.

Meanwhile, Patron used the Direct Message Card to create its messaging bot, called “Bot-Tender.” The virtual mixologist creates personalized cocktail recommendations based on responses to questions around occasion, flavor, even emojis.

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