British Vogue has made its first foray into the AI space via a chatbot on Facebook Messenger that allows users to personalise their fashion news.
“Vogue Fashion Update”, as it’s called, was launched to coincide with the start of London Fashion Week, enabling users to catch up on all the latest shows and their favourite designers.
Alexandra Shulman, editor-in-chief of British Vogue commented: “This is a new method for us to be able to talk directly and immediately to the huge Vogue audience, who rely on us to provide inspiring and authoritative fashion news.”
On joining a chat, users are first given options as to what information they receive, including daily alerts on top stories, up-to-date runway news during the show season, or more tailored content based on specific designers of interest.
The bot will evolve over time, with future updates set to provide further personalisation and interaction, the Condé Nast International digital team behind it explained in a press release.
Their view is on taking away the need to compete with a scrolling newsfeed and instead deliver content directly to the subscriber for a distinctly more personal interaction.
Cantlin Ashrowan, Condé Nast International’s director of product, said: “We are always seeking to engage with our audiences in new and innovative ways. Today marks the latest step in British Vogue’s long history of innovation in fashion journalism.”
More specifically, it also follows British Vogue’s attempts to run a Whatsapp group (which was really just a broadcast list) for similar reasons. This started out as an instant message update every time there was any relevant fashion news – and fairly frequently – but closed down within a month or so with no word as to why. One can only assume the manpower behind it didn’t make sense for the team (in terms of returns), comparative to this automated version using Facebook’s bot store.