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Facebook's Bots are Already Infuriating Users with Spam

Facebook's bot store for Messenger has only been around a few days, but already users are getting sick and tired of the bots. It's one thing to provide a service that's a little glitchy due to it still being in the beta stage, but another to completely to spam users so often and so early on that users may be put off of using these new bots completely.

The Guardian

One of the reasons people hate downloading apps for various services that they need is because they do not want to be spammed. They don't need notifications popping up every half an hour or so, they only want to see them when necessary. People will install the apps for the short period of time that they have to use them, but once that immediate need has passed it'll be uninstalled and people can't do that with bots. These bots are a great idea and Facebook are right in that they could seriously help improve business to customer relations, but they still have a lot of teething issues that even this early in, people aren't so keen on forgiving.

The main problem here is that people can't work out how to deal with the spam and this is resulting in users blocking the bots. On Kik if you're tired of a bot alerting you then you can mute it either for a specified period of time or forever. Muting those messages doesn't mean that they won't appear in your chat log, but it does mean that you won't be alerted of them. This is great for busy users or people who are trying to get things done at work whether they're muting general conversation or bots. Kik's bots did spam me a little after I started to test them out, but it was only one or two messages urging me to carry on spread across a couple of days before they stopped. It wasn't annoying and it was easy to handle either by muting or unsubscribing. Users of Facebook's CNN bot didn't all know how to unsubscribe from their far too frequent updates at first and nowhere obvious does it tell you to simply message it the term "unsubscribe." It's great that there's such a simple way to stop it, but it would be more helpful that it was more obvious considering you're supposed to be able to chat to the bots like you would humans.

Other bots will continue to message you even after you've unsubscribed. You can easily unsubscribe from the Wall Street Journal bot by simply sending it "stop" but some users have found that they still receive alerts afterwards. If you unsubscribe, then you don't expect to keep on receiving messages and it's going to be annoying to keep getting the notifications. Users are having to block the bot just to end the barrage of messages and that is something that will put people off using the other bots. Before this, Messenger was only ever been for private conversations and if you don't want to hear from that person then you either won't mind one message or can just tell them you're busy and don't have time. But a bot doesn't understand that and people aren't going to want to risk being messaged constantly.

The Guardian

Even the bots that do work well can be kind of annoying. The weather bot's messages are sometimes difficult to understand as they aren't just about the weather. I get that they want the bot to be more entertaining so people will use it over their inbuilt weather app, but it needs to actually tell you what the weather is.

All these three things added together are seriously annoying people and that isn't a good sign. Facebook Messenger aren't the first app to have bots like this, but others worked better even during their early stages. Facebook is this huge company that should have done better than this after all the buildup to them actually announcing the bot store. If Facebook want this to work, then they need to fix their bots and they need to do it quickly, before their users all but give up on them.

Rosina is a Songbird rookie with a degree in Creative Writing. She's trying to focus on her novel on the side but is hoping that Content Writing will turn out to be a good career choice in the mean time! Follow her @Songbird_Rosina

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Facebook's Bots are Already Infuriating Users with Spam Reviewed by Unknown on Friday, April 15, 2016 Rating: 5

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