Meta is stuffing its AI chatbot into your Instagram DMs

People on the internet on Friday drew attention A new addition to their Instagrams: Meta AI, the company’s general-purpose, AI-powered chatbot that can answer questions, write poetry, and create pictures with a simple text request. The move is not surprising. Meta revealed Meta AI spent September 2023 and the last few months adding chatbots to products like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, so adding it to Instagram seems like a no-brainer.

“Our generative AI experiences are in various stages of development, and we’re testing a number of them publicly in a limited capacity,” a Meta spokesperson told Engadget, indicating that not everyone has the feature yet. TechCrunchwhich noted first The report says that Meta AI has appeared in Instagram’s search bar. But for some of us at Engadget, the feature actually appeared in the search bar in Instagram’s Direct Messaging box.

Tapping it allowed me to start a conversation with the Meta AI, just like I would DM a friend on Instagram. I was able to ask the chatbot to give me definitions of words, suggest titles for some stories I was working on, and create pictures of dogs on skateboards. I was also able to ask the Meta AI to recommend Reels with cats, which it easily did.

But when my colleague Aaron Souppouris asked Meta AI on WhatsApp to recommend Reels, it showed him some Reels in that app—which suggests that the bot on Instagram doesn’t really do anything specific for Instagram. Instead, Meta simply deploys the same chatbot in every app it owns.

If you tap the hamburger menu on the bot, Meta AI will also show you a long list of possible actions you can request from the bot.

Meta AI will provide a list of actions you can request from the bot.Meta AI will provide a list of actions you can request from the bot.

Aaron Soupouris

Why do you want a chatbot? Instagram offering tips for dealing with credit card debits, debating cardio vs. weights, or tricks for traveling with points, I don’t know. But the thing is, if you want to, you can.

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