Twitter Introduces Bot-Like Automated Direct Messages

Twitter, the microblogging platform, is struggling to draw more users to its service while maintaining revenue growth which prompted it to experiment with all sorts of new features in the hope of something sticking. Among other things, Twitter has lately started streaming everything from sports events to political debates, debuted their Moments feature to take on the likes of Snapchat and Instagram, and also began catering to customer service officials.

Many large companies like T-Mobile, Microsoft, and Google are using Twitter to offer technical support to consumers, so the social media firm recently debuted a new set of features designed to help these companies promote their services on the platform. As of September, major Twitter product support channels can be labeled as such, and their owners have access to additional Account Biography fields which allow them to notify consumers of their working hours and other means of communication. Today, Twitter made another step in the same direction as the company announced that it's starting to roll out automated welcome messages and quick replies available to large brands within Direct Messages.

Like their names suggest, these features aren't designed to replace actual human interaction but are intended to enrich it. While automated welcome messages are pretty self-explanatory, the function which Twitter refers to as Quick Replies is much more powerful than it initially seems. More specifically, this feature allows you to craft questions and orders as well as methods of handling them. For example, once a customer tries to send a Direct Message to a brand, it will be presented with a number of Quick Questions such as "locate my order" or "order a pizza." Simply tapping on one of these tabs will prompt a script to ask for additional information like order number and either immediately answer an inquiry or take an order.

It's worth pointing out that while Quick Replies and automated welcome messages aren't chatbots per se, they certainly perform similar functions. That's interesting because Twitter has recently released a customer service study which advocates against automated support tools such as chatbots and the ones which it has just introduced. So, while the company itself obviously still believes that bots and automated responses can't replace human interaction, it's seemingly giving in to the pressure from large brands which have already started accepting Facebook Messenger chatbots.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]
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