Facebook Targeting Teenagers with AI Chatbots
In a desperate attempt to capture the elusive Gen Z demographic, Facebook (now known as Meta) is resorting to using AI chatbots with a twisted sense of humor. The tech giant, whose social media platforms have been losing popularity among young users, is introducing ‘Gen AI Personas’ across its various apps. And guess what? One of its premier personalities is a ‘sarcastic robot’ modeled after Bender, the iconic character from Futurama!
This revelation paints a picture of a company scrambling to stay relevant in an age where it’s losing its grip on the younger generation. But is this a smart move or a desperate gamble?
The AI chatbot, known as “Bob the Robot,” is designed to be sassy, sarcastic, and slightly sardonic – traits that Facebook believes will resonate with the Gen Z audience. However, there are concerns about whether this approach will hit the mark. After all, Futurama aired between 1999 and 2003, when most of today’s Gen Z users were barely out of diapers. Will they even know who Bender is?
This move starkly contrasts with the successful approach taken by Snapchat, which has seen moderate success with its AI chatbot, My AI. Unlike Facebook’s top-down approach, Snapchat’s generative AI allows users to shape the bot’s character with their prompts, leading to more engaging and authentic interactions.
However, it’s not just about the humor. There’s also a rising concern among Gen Z users about privacy and potential data collection. Several videos labeling AI bots as ‘creepy’ have gone viral, reflecting the prevailing apprehensions about the technology and its implications on user privacy.
Facebook’s foray into AI chatbots appears to be a strategic move to shed its older Boomer brand image and establish itself as the ‘North Star’ for young people online. But with only 3.4 percent of Facebook users and eight percent of Instagram users falling in the 13-17 age category, the stakes are high. Can Facebook succeed in its mission to woo the younger audience, or will this be another failed attempt to stay relevant in an ever-evolving digital landscape? This is not just a story about AI chatbots; it’s a story about a tech giant’s desperate bid to stay relevant in a rapidly changing world.