Messenger bot personalises video chat for fans

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A new FanBot for Facebook Messenger serves personalised video montages to viewers of a BBC natural history programme.

The 'Real Happy Moments' draw on archives to deliver clips to nature lovers, using technology from fan interaction specialist Monterosa.

Based on its pioneering FanBot product - which taps into Messenger's growing userbase of more than a billion monthly active users - the bot is made for large scale usage, working simultaneously across territories. In addition to personalised video, it can offer live interactivity including voting, ratings and predictions based on user preferences.

For the BBC Earth solution, the bot asks users a short series of questions, creating a personalised 'happiness profile'. It then correlates those user preferences with BBC archive footage to produce individual 'real happy moments' - personalised, sharable montages with scenes selected using intelligent tag matching.

Each video clip contains the name and Facebook profile picture of the user.

Deploying machine learning techniques, the bot uses feedback via emojis to improve the algorithm. It comes just as American audiences are tuning into Planet Earth II, which premiered on BBC America in February and forms part of BBC Earth's Real Happiness Project.

Bots for Messenger are growing in popularity as a convenient, conversational way for companies to communicate and serve content to consumers, and this is the first time a broadcaster has utilised archive footage and smart automated editing to create content for each user individually. In order to start a 'chat' with BBC Earth, Facebook users follow the link, tap the Message button on the official Facebook page, or to search Messenger for bbcearth.

Monterosa chief executive Tom McDonnell says personalisation, short-form video and bots are three of the hottest topics in entertainment: "We're thrilled to partner with the BBC to break new ground with the launch of FanBot, utilising the growing Messenger platform as a new channel for video and the BBC's amazing natural history footage."

Monterosa's recent live fan interaction products include a chart-topping 'I'm a Celebrity' fan app for ITV in the UK, and Channel 4's Horse Tracker live racing tracking app.

Try the Real Happy Moments bot here.

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