As Facebook prepares to launch its new cryptocurrency Libra in 2020, the parts are placed to help them run. In one of the latest developments, Servicefriend was acquired, a startup that developed bots – artificial intelligence messaging chat clients for the support of customer service teams, TechCrunch confirmed.
The News First Published in Israel Servicefriend was formed after one of its investors, Roberto Singler, had informed the local publication The Marker about the deal. We contacted Ido Arad, one of the co-founders of the company, who shared our questions with a team on Facebook. Facebook then confirmed the takeover with an Apple-like nonspecific statement:
"From time to time we acquire smaller technology companies. We do not always discuss our plans, "said a Facebook spokesman.
Several people, including Arad, co-founder Shahar Ben Ami and at least one other person, say they are now working on Facebook within the Calibra Digital Wallet group on their LinkedIn profiles. Her social network jobs started this month, which means that this acquisition has been completed in the last few weeks. (Some others say they are still on Servicefriend, which means they probably moved as well.)
Although Facebook does not specify what they will work on, the most obvious area will be creating a bot ̵
Facebook plans to build a range of financial services that allow users to use Calibra to pay and pay – receive scales, for example, to send money to contacts, pay bills, charge cell phones, buy things, and more.
It remains to be seen how much people trust Facebook as the provider of all these things. Here, a "human" and accessible customer experience is crucial.
"We're here for you," says Calibra's welcome page, which promises 24×7 support for WhatsApp and Messenger users.
Servicefriend has been working on the Facebook platform in the past: Specially developed hybrid bots for messengers that companies can use to augment human teams. Scale theirs Services better on messaging platforms. In a messenger bot created by Servicefriend for Globe Telecom in the Philippines, it was found that the hybrid bot was able to reduce "agent hours" to less than 20 hours for 1,000 customer interactions.
Bots were a relatively problematic area for Facebook. The company launched a personal assistant called M in 2015, and then bots that allowed users to communicate with companies through messengers in 2016, although in reality nothing worked as well as promised, and in some cases, worked significantly worse than the services, they wanted to replace.
While AI-based assistants such as Alexa have become synonymous with how a computer can talk and provide information to people, consensus about bots today is the most viable way to build services that complement teams rather than complete them to replace.
If Facebook aligns its customer service to Calibra correctly, it can help to build its credibility and expand as a marketing channel). Misunderstood not only can mean problems with customers, but also with partners and possibly regulators.