Conversational commerce; also see Bots Could Give Facebook a Bigger Slice of the App Economy (Bloomberg)
"Underlying many of these bot efforts is their presence primarily on messaging services, which are increasingly becoming a primary form of communication and computing. More than 1.6 billion people are projected to become regular users of mobile messaging apps by the end of this year, equivalent to 22 percent of the global population, according to eMarketer, an industry research firm. That figure is expected to reach two billion people by 2018.Facebook Bets on a Bot Resurgence, Chattier Than Ever - The New York Times
The bot revival is also taking place at a time when people are growing tired of individual apps. While big brands have long promoted easier access to shopping and customer service through their own proprietary smartphone apps, some consumers are fatigued by having to download a different app for each company. More than a quarter of the time spent on mobile apps by Americans is now focused on just a handful of social networking and communication apps, according to Forrester, an industry research firm.
As a result, brands in search of the best way to talk to consumers are now pairing off with some the world’s dominant messaging platforms — and their chatbots."