Why Quartz is pushing ahead with its chatbot
Tim Peterson of Digiday writes about why business news site Quartz is continuing its chatbot while other media organizations have shut theirs down.
Peterson writes, “One publisher that’s stayed committed to bots is Quartz. In 2016, it launched a mobile app through which people would primarily access its articles through an in-app chatbot. Later that year, it formed a Bot Studio to build bots for itself and advertisers and with other news outlets. Quartz launched a chatbot on Messenger in March, and its Bot Studio recently hired four employees for a total of six. The studio makes standalone chatbots for advertisers such as HBO to promote its show ‘Westworld.’ Quartz wouldn’t say how many people use its bots.
“The moneymaking part makes it worthwhile for Quartz, along with the insights it’s learned. The client work funds Quartz’s journalism and lets it experiment without having to report to a client, said John Keefe, bot developer and product manager at Quartz.
“Quartz learned people may be more willing to use a publisher’s chatbot when it’s part of an event or contained experience, such as the one it ran in October 2017 timed to the season premiere of Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things.’ Keefe said when users start to interact with one of these temporal projects, they complete the experience more than 90 percent of the time.
“To that end, Quartz is developing a Messenger bot with ProPublica and others for the latest version of the Electionland project. In 2016, the project used a chatbot on Election Day to crowdsource problems at polling places. For this year’s midterms, the project is being extended to Messenger. And while that chatbot will live on the Electionland Facebook Page and won’t generate revenue for Quartz, it’s another way for Quartz to test people’s willingness to chat with a news bot.”
Read more here.