Thanks to 20 years of OA innovation and advocacy, today you can legally access around half the recent research literature for free. However, in practice, much of this free literature is not as open as we’d like it to be, because it’s hard for readers to find the OA version.
To broaden its audience, British left-leaning news site The Canary has been converting all its text articles to audio since last September. In time, it plans to make its audio articles available on voice assistant devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo, where publishers are increasingly making more content available. Continue reading “Politics publisher The Canary is converting text articles to audio to find new audiences”
Having processed more than 20 billion chat messages over the past year at Dashbot, my team decided to take a look at the top messages users send to Facebook chatbots. Here’s an overview of our findings. Continue reading “Here’s what users were saying to Facebook chatbots in 2017”
In 2017, my team powered chatbots and voice skills for leading brands like Nike, Vice, Jameson, Marriott Rewards, Simon, Gatorade, and more. We witnessed new user behaviors and uncovered an evolved set of best practices to build a chatbot. Here are four actionable learnings from our work that you should consider when launching your own chatbot in 2018.
1. Personalization drives engagement
Bots that are designed to segment and engage customers throughout the entire conversation drive higher metrics than chatbots that do not personalize the conversation. For example, in our testing, personalized results yielded the highest click-through to website, up to 74 percent in some cases.
This year, a leading athletic brand set out to inspire a sneaker style for girls across the globe. The brand launched a customized sneaker builder where the user uploads of a photo of her outfit, and magically, in an instant, the bot pulls up a pair of shoes that matches the uploaded picture. This experience drove a click-through rate 12.5X higher than the global brand average.
Bud Light launched a chatbot with the goal of driving demand and purchase of Bud Light’s team cans on game day throughout the NFL season. A personalized data model and chatbot powered the ordering and delivery of team cans every game day during the NFL season. The Bud Light chatbot acted as a utility to remind fans that it was game time, and to order Bud Light before the game. Bud Light saw an 83 percent engagement rate with personalization.
2. Get to the point quickly
Across multiple chatbots, about half of the first actions that users take is free text entry. Updating the onboarding copy to manage expectations — “this is a bot that can do X and Y,” for example — lowers that initial friction. If the first intent is help-related or a long-form text entry, you can provide a customer service number, FAQs, or an option to “talk to a human” from the very beginning.
When users get into the designed experience, point of sale should be within five clicks. For example, after A/B testing a chatbot across 250,000 users, we noticed a significant drop-off occured when the core focus (click to purchase, etc.) was beyond five clicks.
3. Chatbots go beyond mobile devices
Bots are an effective tool to drive real-world activities or offline conversions, with coupon redemption rates as high as 30 percent.
A leading quick-service restaurant brand launched a new bot that drove users through an immersive content experience with videos, quizzes, recipes, and coupons. This high engagement led to over 71,000 coupons redeemed from the chatbot.
The Jordan Brand aimed to reach elite high school football, basketball, and baseball athletes with an ongoing training chatbot experience for pre-season training. Jordan delivered nightly prep videos and daily workout series to a targeted group of high school athletes in advance of basketball season on Facebook Messenger. Athletes loved receiving push notifications reminding them to work out. Jordan saw an extremely high completion rate as well as a high re-engagement rate compared to regular customer relationship management programs: Over 70 percent of users surveyed enjoyed the experience.
4. Truly understand your users
Understanding why people did or did not enjoy the experience is key. One way to do this is using free text analysis to understand sentiment and drop-off. For example, we launched a new bot with a leading shoe retailer. Most people came to the bot knowing what specific shoe they wanted to buy or with a question about the shoe they already bought. Cater to the specific pain points and make sure your bot handles customer intent at every stage.
Finally, make sure to survey users and learn from both your best purchasers as well as your qualified no’s. One way to do this by asking your users directly. You can use a chatbot for net promoter score surveying.
Jonathan Shriftman is the director of business development at Snaps, a mobile messaging service.
‘If we can come in at the same level as some of the bigger names, then it gives us a chance to be there first and for people to interact with us’
“In the U.S., digital ad spend reached $72 billion in 2016, and with roughly nine out of ten American adults now connected to the internet, the typical U.S. internet user is worth around $250 per year to digital advertisers.”
Microsoft Academic is really impressive. Now if only they could let anyone know it exists…they are quite late to a market already crowded by WoS, Scopus, and Google Scholar. https://harzing.com/blog/2017/06/microsoft-academic-is-one-year-old-the-phoenix-is-ready-to-leave-the-nest …
Facebook launched its fast-loading Instant Articles format in the spring of 2015, and Google followed with its version, Accelerated Mobile Pages, in early 2016. Both were an attempt to make webpages load faster. But while Instant Articles’ use has stagnated, AMP has only grown in importance to publishers. Continue reading “How Google AMP beat Facebook Instant Articles”
Google’s ad-blocking version of Chrome is going live next month, whether publishers are ready for it or not. Continue reading “‘Distressing, but they are Goliath’: Hard-hit publishers brace for Google’s ad blocking browser’s launch”
With publishers realizing that they can no longer be wholly dependent on ads for their revenue, Purch is getting more serious about selling proprietary technology to other publishers.
Purch — a commerce-focused publisher that owns tech and product review sites such as Tom’s Guide, Top Ten Reviews and Live Science — is profitable. It makes about $120 million a year in revenue, with about 20 percent coming from ad tech products that it licenses to 25 publisher clients, said Purch CRO Mike Kisseberth. Over the next year, the company plans to grow its number of publisher clients to roughly 40, and have its tech licensing operation account for about 25 percent of its overall revenue, he said. Continue reading “Purch is a publisher with a $24 million business in licensing ad tech”
Back in October, the BBC organised a hackathon as part of their newsHack series. This time, they focused on Conversational User Interfaces (CUI) and, for the occasion, invited other news organisations to take part. The FT joined in with a pluri-disciplinary team (editorial, UX design, software engineering).
At the end of the 2-day event, we had a prototype ready for FT Conversation, an application running on Google Home, with our users’ comments at its heart. Continue reading “FT Conversation: the FT at BBC newsHack”
In my final blog post of the year, I’m going to talk about some of the developments in librarianship and the related domains that caught my eye. Of course, this is by necessity going to be personal and idiosyncratic from my point of view
“Obi-Wan: Anakin, Chancellor Palpatine is evil!
Anakin Skywalker: From my point of view, the Jedi are evil!” – Revenge of the Sith (2005) Continue reading “My roundup of developments in 2017 that caught my eye.”
The year 2017 will likely be remembered for many things across the technology spectrum, from major breakthroughs in artificial intelligence (AI) and milestone moments in autonomous vehicles to Amazon conceding that a major offline presence in groceries was needed to compete in retail.
But buried within the big headline-grabbing stories of the year were microtrends that sprang up almost by surprise. And one of those relates to the humble podcast. Continue reading “2017: Year of the podcast”