Messaging apps aren’t what they used to be. As apps like iMessage and Facebook Messenger have grown into full-fledged platforms, chat bots have become one of the most interesting examples of what is possible on these platforms. Chat bots have been extremely successful for activities such as automated customer service in the retail space (with even Katy Perry joining in on the fun).
However, bots can also provide a unique way of giving you news in a personalized, conversational way. If you’re tired of scrolling through all the garbage on your Facebook feed as a way of seeing what’s going on the in world, you’ll definitely want to try out a chatbot.
Partnering with experts Gupshup, we’ve now got our very own bot, which personalizes your experience of Paste right on Facebook Messenger.
“Conversational interfaces are simpler and more intuitive,” says Gupshup CEO Beerud Sheth. The company has been pioneering the development of bots for years and has worked with important apps like Twitter, Slack, and WeChat. “There is no training required and you can get straight to the point.”
So how does it work?
Using the Paste Bot couldn’t be easier. You don’t have to download a new app—all you need is a Facebook account. Click here or visit our Facebook page to get a conversation started.
The best way to check it out is to just start exploring through the different avenues that the bot provides. We’d suggest starting with Fresh News, which gives you a quick glance at all the newest trending stories at Paste. Because it’s happening in the context of a messaging app, you can always type out your command or click on the link itself. Under Fresh News, you can head right to the article of your choosing, or type “Summary” and you’ll get a one-sentence glimpse at the article before you dive into it fully.
We cover a wide breadth of topics and categories here at Paste, so you can also check out articles by channel. Whether it’s music, movies, games, tech, or politics, you’ll get the newest articles from whatever channel you are in right within the conversation. One of the unique features of reading news through the bot is that you can subscribe to an individual channel, which will give you a daily update to all the stories that missed.
As you read more and more using the bot, it automatically adjusts to your tastes and interests to ensure that you’re getting articles sent to you that you actually care about. The cool part is that all of this is done without you having to select anything or fill out a form about what your interests are. This is all done through an “inferred profile,” which is created by what kinds of articles you read. This inferred profile is what allows the bot to include certain degree of serendipitous news that is outside of your interests, so that you don’t end up with a broken record of echo-chamber stories.
“The ideal of a personalized newspaper would be something that is relevant, important and serendipitous,” says Sheth. “It’s personal, unlike the traditional view of newspapers where the editor covers a wide area of topics that is of interest to a wide audience. But the individual usually just wants a subset of that content—and the bot achieves that in a very advanced way.”
If you want to go in and manually change your profile, you can. Just type in “manage profile” and you’ll get sent to a page where you can select your preferred channels, narrow down how often you want your daily digest, and check out what your inferred profile looks like.
All of this enables you to have a unique, personalized experience of the content here at Paste. As AI becomes more and more ubiquitous through our smartphones and products like the Amazon Echo, bots will continue to play an important role in the future of computing interfaces. We’re excited for our readers to get to experience our content in this way, so go check it out!