Twitter’s Bot Crackdown Won’t Hurt Businesses' Customer Service After All

Twitter has made it a priority to clean up its platform with a bot crackdown. Back in January, the company announced that it would be making changes to the Twitter API and TweetDeck, a tool that enables users to pay to tweet out content across several accounts with massive followings. With new restrictions in place, Twitter would no longer allow users to perform automated actions across multiple accounts at a huge scale.

Then, earlier this week, the social network continued its effort, announcing that starting on March 23, 2018, apps that integrate with Twitter to schedule and automate tweets will need to prevent bulk messaging or face "enforcement action, up to and including the suspension of associated applications and accounts," manager of trust and safety at Twitter Yoel Roth wrote in a blog post.

While this policy promised to curb bots, it also had the potential to hurt businesses that provide customer service via Twitter. Not so, Twitter announced yesterday. In a blog post, Jon Cipriano, senior partner engineer of data and enterprise solutions, introduced adaptive rate limits, a feature that allows business accounts to send up to five Direct Messages through the Twitter application programming interface over a 24-hour period in response to messages that they receive from customers. Every time a customer sends a new inbound message, the limit resets, and businesses can send five more responses.

“For example, Microsoft recently launched the chatbot Zo, which uses artificial intelligence to connect with people to chat and play games. Previously, launching a chatbot meant to handle tens of thousands of conversations per day would have been challenging,” Cipriano wrote, referring to the limitations that existed on bots. “Now with adaptive rate limits, Zo is able to have a real-time conversation with everyone who sends her a message,” he explained.

This is a win-win for customers and companies. Bots hurt engagement and experience, so the move to eliminate them is a good one. Plus, with automation capabilities still intact for businesses, their ability to deliver customer service won’t suffer. 

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