There’s never been a tech trend that Meta didn’t like, and generative AI is no exception, with the company currently developing various new generative AI tools for Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, that are designed to capitalize on emerging usage trends, while also ensuring that Meta doesn’t miss the boat on any major shifts.
And while we’ve already seen examples of generative AI tools to help create Facebook ads, visual prompt tools for Instagram stickers, and multi-modal AI advancements, Instagram’s also developing a new AI chat option, which looks similar to Snapchat’s My AI tool.
As you can see in this example, shared by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, Instagram’s currently developing a new AI chat option that would enable you to ask questions of an AI system within any chat thread.
You’d be able to ask questions of the AI tool in-stream, while it would also be able to give you advice on how to write more effective messages.
As shown in this example, by typing @ai into the chat field, you’d then be diverted to its AI chatbot, which would be available to answer your questions at any time. So, much like My AI, the bot will incorporate AI responses into a discussion, adding another element to your Instagram DMs.
That could touch on two key usage developments.
For one, more conversation on IG has been switching to DMs, with users posting fewer Stories and feed posts than they have in the past. As such, Instagram’s been looking for more ways to expand on its messaging options, and this could help feed into that trend, merging with usage behaviors.
The other development, of course, is generative AI, and building these tools into social apps. At present, I still haven’t seen a truly game-changing way to incorporate generative AI tools into social apps, with most simply adding in text-to-vision prompts or chatbots into the UI. Both of those are somewhat interesting use cases, but they’re not really amazing, with this new IG messaging function likely falling into the same category – interesting to have on hand, and to try out with some wacky questions. But maybe not a hugely useful addition.
But it would bring generative AI into Instagram, which is what Meta really wants, at least as a starting point.
As Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted about AI via his new Instagram Channel recently:
“In the short term, we’ll focus on building creative and expressive tools. Over the longer term, we’ll focus on developing AI personas that can help people in a variety of ways. We’re exploring experiences with text (like cat in WhatsApp and Messenger), with images (like creative Instagram filters and ad formats), and with video and multi-modal experiences.”
The personas element would also be built into this IG chat option – though again, I don’t see that being a major lure for users, or a big engagement factor for AI bots in general.
Like, it’s still an AI bot. Whether I ask it to respond to me in the voice of Hulk Hogan, or Shakespeare, it’s still just a bot pumping out the same answers.
Would it be a big functional update? Probably not, but as a starting point, this is where we’re seeing generative AI merge into common functionality, as a means to acclimatize people to it, before merging it into new areas.
Those new areas could be far more revolutionary – like, for example, generative AI that can build VR worlds. Functions like that are the next level, but each platform has to start somewhere in developing their AI response tools.