Twitter to take on Facebook Messenger as it focuses on its direct messaging platform

Twitter is set to focus more on its direct messaging offering and customer service in the future, heating up the competition between Facebook Messenger and Twitter.

The success from its live video push has put Australia at the front of the global Twitter market, with the social media platform now looking to move more into real-time chat bots and private messaging.

Nicoletti declined to comment on whether or not Twitter’s direct messaging automated response would be competing with Facebook Messenger bots

Suzy Nicoletti, Twitter Australia’s managing director, told Mumbrella: “For us in this market we are going to continue to focus on that direct message API functionality, the uptake we saw with users understanding the power of getting information in real time in a customer DM (direct message) format was really powerful, so there’s a number of brands we are in talks with at the moment to see how we can use that functionality to drive better business outcomes.

“Our brands we are working with are identifying that a large majority of the inquiries they are getting is about the same topics, so what we are trying to do is work so that you can in fact tweet something to their handle and get an automated response.

“What we are trying to do is essentially is provide a platform where people can get real-time information in the moment when they’re looking to engage and understand something,” Nicoletti said.

The push of its direct messaging automated response offering comes as Facebook rolled out its Messenger 2.0 last month, offering additional bot services to the app and introducing a new virtual assistant.

Brands have also been jumping on the chatbot bandwagon with Boost Juice launching a fruit matching chatbot to push its new smoothie and Foxtel introducing ‘The Wentworth Rat’ chatbot to promote its TV drama Wentworth.

When asked about how Twitter’s direct messaging offering compares to Facebook’s, Nicoletti said she was not able to speak to Messanger’s capabilities.

On why Twitter wants to jump into the automated response space, she said: “We are trying to harness that speed and need for immediacy with the responses consumers are able to get from brands.”

On the back of Twitter’s recent quarter one 2017 financial earnings which saw the company post an 8% year-on-year revenue decline but a 6% increase year-on-year in average monthly active users, Nicoletti said the user growth is largely due to Australian’s “appetite for video”.

Video views in Australia increased by 35% in quarter one, with Australian’s streaming 800 hours of live content.

“It’s very much so at the forefront of where the company is headed and even before [Twitter] streamlined towards video and live video, this operation was already serving a higher percentage of video in terms of overall revenue than in any other market.

“This market not only is known for video but it is really a hotbed of innovation,” she said.

Nicoletti said she has seen an upward trend of brands becoming content providers themselves, pushing users into a video centric platform.

Twitter’s Australian daily active users grew nearly 1.5 times faster than the rest of the global market due to an appetite for video.

“In Australia we have always been a leader in video as an overall proportion of revenue, our video remains a key driver, especially live video,” Nicoletti said.


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