The introduction of bots to Facebook and other platforms has been overhyped — and the bots themselves often aren’t very good, Facebook Messenger chief David Marcus said today. Speaking at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, Marcus made some of his first public comments about bots since Facebook launched the platform in April. “It got really overhyped really, really quickly,” Marcus said. What’s more, he said, many of the first bots to hit the platform weren’t nearly as good as the native apps they were designed to replace.
There are now more than 30,000 bots on the platform, Marcus said, up from 11,000 in July. But bots have suffered from a perception that they are not nearly as useful as they were advertised to be earlier this year by tech giants including Facebook, Google, and Microsoft.
Bots suffer from a perception that they are not as useful as advertised
Marcus acknowledged that the two weeks Facebook gave developers to build bots before its F8 developer conference this year was “probably not” enough time for them to create great experiences. But he said he was satisfied with their progress to date. “This is a long journey, and you have to start somewhere,” he said.
The app also has more than 300 million people using its audio and video calling features every month, Marcus said.