What Brands Can Grasp From Facebook’s Approach to VR, AI, and mind-reading

Facebook has recently revealed its intentions on chatbots on Facebook messenger 2.0. They are taking on a virtual reality social platform, competing with Snapchat, which already uses AR filters, while also taking on hearing impairment via haptic feedback and facing Slack with Facebook Workplaces.

The big revelation: Facebook wants to read your mind! 

One can see that Facebook has dived all the exciting technologies such as artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality. And they have decided to go after all of this simultaneously.

It is a strong strategy.

So what should brands do in response?

Change in consumer-brand interactions

Social media has transformed how we communicate with each other and brands. What Facebook is hoping with this announcement is that it can repeat its original penetration in new and emerging spaces and easily dominate them.

But for marketers, the question remains: how will these technologies change how consumers interact with brands?

Facebook’s investment in brain-computer interfaces has massive potential due to new forms of communication. While we haven’t seen most of it, creating a seamless connection between machines and humans will benefit brands in the near future. If getting information about a project is as easy as thinking about it, then marketing campaigns will have a more significant impact.

When looking at the Discover tab for Facebook messenger, one can see that Facebook is expanding its chatbot and third-party app integrations to cover the earlier stages in the consumer-buying cycle.

Until now, bots and apps have focused on consumers actively considering a purchase – you have to seek out the brand to interact with it. Discover’s launch allows Facebook to suggest branded bots and apps to those who haven’t interacted with the brand. This point of engagement hasn’t existed till now, but with meaningful benefits for the brands to interact with customers in a way that they have the potential to navigate them to purchase in-app.

How build-up can turn technology sour

Unfortunately, publicity over an emerging tech has been a consistent disappointment. However, in the case of virtual reality, it is slowly getting there but only when it is implemented well. Facebook Spaces could quickly transform online social interaction, turning social networks into immersive spaces for interactions. And if you go by the sales of HTC Vive and Oculus, people are unwilling to take risks.

Artificial Intelligence has one of the worst faring platforms regarding the hype. It can be seen as a promising development for technology to have Facebook incorporate its strategy into its 1 billion users through the Facebook Messenger platform. It can be seen as a gamble when the technology is in its nascent phase and can stall in growth if social media cannot use chatbots quickly.

Brands tempted to jump on the bandwagon must do so with caution and have a clear strategy. Facebook is willing to gamble with these technologies in the hope of dominating their emergence. But it is ultimately considered a gamble, and brands should watch all the developments keenly. They would be wise to avoid wandering into this blindly.