Gone are the days of traditional journalism as the emergence of chatbots show game-changing potential for publishers to connect with consumers.

Thanks to breakthroughs in modern technology, the fusion of messaging platforms, combined with artificial intelligence (AI), has led to the rise of chatbots — intuitive software with a humanistic touch.

A new trend changing the way readers consume content, chatbots have emerged as the conversational, smart assistant helping digital publishers broaden their audience reach and expand opportunities for monetization.

Earlier this year, The Guardian rolled out their food-related chatbot, cleverly dubbed the Sous-Chef – an interactive search tool that draws from its own archives to provide recipe and cuisine suggestions based on their Facebook community’s fridge contents.

CNN is another publisher that is currently testing bots through Facebook’s messenger platform, delivering a daily digest of personalized content catered to subscribers’ learned interests. According to Alex Wellen, chief product officer at CNN, “[Chatbots] are an opportunity to reach a global audience and connect in a way that’s very personal but also at scale.”

At the moment, chatbots are still in the early phases of roll-out and analysis, so they remain a somewhat “buggy” area of opportunity. One of the biggest complaints found amongst users were bots’ limited scope of understanding and responding to what they are asked to do and/or find.

Though it may be too soon to tell, I do believe that future advancements in technology will greatly improve the user experience, and enable publishers to create their own unique ways of communicating with consumers through these personalized channels.

We can’t wait for the time when we’re able to ask messengers for the best priced flights to the Caribbean. Naturally, we’ll save you a seat.

Theorem Future Perspectives

  • Leveraged as interactive software that users “chat” with via messaging platforms, bots are gaining traction among publishers as a creative new medium for delivering content experiences that bolster both readership and revenue.
  • Given their early stages of roll-out, chatbots’ conversational capacities are quite limited. However, improvements in technology can advance their capabilities to communicate, further empowering publishers with a creative new medium to monetize their content.
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Posted by Dan Exter

Dan Exter started his media career working in content creation and video production for Cablevision (currently Alice USA). During his seven years at Cablevision, Dan worked for one of the company's exclusive network properties, MSG Varsity, the first 24/7 high school sports network. As a Digital Producer, Dan created original and engaging content for all of MSG Varsity’s viewing platforms consisting of a linear channel, mobile application, digital publication and a video on-demand (VOD) channel. He also led in the network’s social media initiatives and created a low-cost production formula for full-game broadcasts, which would soon become the network’s most popular source of content. He is a Digital Media Analyst on the consultancy and strategy team at Theorem. Get in touch with Dan.

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