Instagram Said to Be Testing AI-Powered Chatbots for Influencers That Can Interact With Followers

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Instagram is reportedly working on a new artificial intelligence (AI)-powered initiative that will allow influencers — users with large followings — on the platform to automate direct engagement with their followers. As per the report, the platform’s “Creator AI” is currently under testing. The feature is said to offer AI chatbots to influencers that can be trained using their data and be deployed to direct messages (DMs) to interact with followers. The chatbot could also mimic the influencer’s mannerisms to give the impression that the followers are speaking with the influencer.

The New York Times reports that the Meta-owned social media platform is pitching its Creator AI programme to popular influencers on the platform with a substantial following. The report cited unnamed people briefed on the project and highlighted that the project is currently in its early stages of testing. Once it rolls out, the initial plans are said to be focused on adding AI capabilities only to the influencer’s DMs, but later it could be extended to the comment section on their posts as well.

The programme will reportedly allow influencers to deploy an AI chatbot to their DMs which will then interact with all the followers that send a message. It is designed to help with one of the biggest pain points of popular content creators which is responding to an overwhelming number of messages. Not responding to them is considered a lost opportunity to develop organic engagement on the account, and attempting to interact with hundreds or thousands of followers directly every day could be extremely time-consuming.

As a solution, these AI chatbots will be trained on the influencer’s data, such as their posts, captions, comments, audio from Reels, and even message history, to learn the mannerisms of their texting style, as per the report. It is said that influencers will have control over the dataset the AI is trained on.

This is not the first time Meta has experimented with AI chatbots that impersonate a living individual. Last year, the company released AI avatars, which were autonomous AI chatbots based on popular celebrities such as Kylie Jenner, YouTuber Mr. Beast, and rapper Snoop Dogg. The social media giant created AI characters that behaved similarly to the real personality and ran their own Instagram and Facebook pages. Users can message these bots to simulate a conversation experience of talking to the celebrity it is based on.

Like most AI trends, the reception of this feature will be determined by public perception. On one hand, it can be a fun way for users to know their favourite influencer better, on the other, some users may not be fans of the simulated experience.

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