Are you ready for your Instagram Chatbot?

At Facebook Developer f8 (June 2021), Facebook announced that it is opening Instagram Messaging API to the public. This opening up will enable key automation or third-party tools on Instagram for the first time, accessible only with the API. The businesses will be able to automate and manage direct message communication with users through chatbots and virtual assistants.

Why do companies prefer to be available on Instagram? 

Instagram has been a primary address for social media commerce, with more than 1 billion monthly users worldwide.  90% of people on Instagram today follow at least one business. Not only e-commerce companies but other sectors want to be available on Instagram, considering its large user base. It is much more attractive for brands specifically for SMEs to be available for more than 1 billion users on Instagram, rather than relying only on their website visits to promote and sell their products & services. It is a perfect solution for small brands to have a digital storefront on Instagram. Established brands also aim to enlarge their Instagram followers to promote their brand, PR activities, and products & services. Instagram promises a massive potential for both small and large businesses by allowing their users to see & buy the products without leaving the app. It is like a shopping destination regardless of the scale of the brand.

Building an effective customer service with an Instagram Chatbot?

This massive potential means huge interaction. Considering the high expectations that today’s customers have, in terms of experience and service, companies have to instantly respond to the queries or issues coming through Instagram Direct Message. In other words, if a company is promoting and selling products & services on Instagram, it has to provide a high-quality support service as well. However, it creates a huge burden on the workforce and is difficult to manage by only human force.

In October 2020, Facebook began beta testing the Messenger API for Instagram with a group of businesses and developers. And during Facebook Developers f8, it has announced that it opens up the Messenger API for Instagram to all developers who are making it possible for brands to offer messaging experiences on Instagram. 

Now, thanks to the API, it is possible to connect Instagram Direct Message to a live chat interface or a chatbot / virtual assistant and create an Instagram Chatbot. Businesses can create automatic responses or workflows for common consumer questions or requests such as “What’s your return policy?” or “Please track my order” before a chat with a live representative begins.

Automation of these kinds of questions has been possible on Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp Business, Google Assistant, now is it possible for Instagram as well. Therefore brands should definitely consider involving Instagram Chatbot in their customer service with a human & AI partnership model.

Instagram Chatbot use case: Being always available for customers while increasing efficiency

Let’s go through a sample use case for a brand that has an AI & human partnership model on Instagram, with an Instagram Chatbot. In such a model:

  • – the customer asks a question on Instagram Direct Message,
  • – the question is answered automatically by the chatbot as it is integrated into Instagram Direct Message thanks to the API Instagram provided.
  • – Instagram Direct Message is also connected to the live chat platform that the brand uses. This connection enables the live chat agents to see the customer messages on Instagram and when a query is handovered to the live agent by the Instagram Chatbot, the agent can answer the query and solve the issue the customer raises.

What are the benefits?

  • – In such a model customers are highly satisfied as their queries are answered instantly by the Instagram Chatbot, and even when the chatbot is not trained to answer the specific question, the human agent is ready to answer! The customer experiences the conversation on only one interface – Instagram Direct Message. 
  • – It is possible to create product promotion, purchasing, and support functions on the Instagram Chatbot. In this way, the brand ensures that the customers get the response instantly and no sales lead is missed.
  • – In addition, since the system involves an Instagram Chatbot and automation, the brand will be able to manage its operational costs efficiently. The employees will not need to respond to each and every question such as “track my order”, “how can I get a chargeback”, “could you send my invoice to my email address”. This model will autotomize the basic and repetitive tasks by an Instagram Chatbot and allow the agents to focus on more complicated and value-added tasks. So it is an effective partnership between AI & humans.

Instagram Chatbot: A new channel for your already live chatbot or a good opportunity to create a chatbot for your brand

This new API will create more freedom for the end-users to communicate with brands through the platform they prefer and get the response in the fastest and easiest way. Allowing connecting Instagram Direct Message with an AI-based Instagram Chatbot also helps the companies manage the operational processes and costs better. A tool like the Messenger API could help companies create better customer service experiences. This model also gives the brands the opportunity to analyze the customer messages and come up with valuable insights from the interactions with the customers. 

All in all, when a company has a live chatbot on other platforms such as its website, mobile app, WhatsApp Business account, Facebook Messenger; Instagram Chatbot is a way to expand a brand’s presence, allowing the customers to reach it through Instagram as well. On the other hand, companies who do not have a chatbot yet but have a powerful presence on Instagram and prefer to interact with the customers on this platform have the opportunity to build their Instagram Chatbot now. 

Instagram is rolling out access through a phased approach for business accounts on Instagram that wants to the Messenger API. It aims to include all accounts for the last phase by end of Q3 2021. Please check this page for updates and details.

CBOT will be happy to discuss building you a chatbot, providing a live chat system on CBOT Platform, and connecting them to your Instagram account. You can contact us with your questions.