Twitter has been promoting its potential as a customer service platform for brands for some time now. And today, it's stepping up its efforts for its own users — with a bot.
The company's @support account will now handle basic user inquires via a direct message bot, one that seems like it'll be used most often to tackle the abuse and harassment issues which have plagued the company through its existence.
The bot, released this afternoon, is still experimental. Twitter plans to see how people engage with it and will tweak it accordingly, according to a spokesperson. In many scenarios BuzzFeed News tested, the bot was unable to do more than simply directing us to its website to fill out forms. Still, it could be a helpful new channel for those looking for a simple way to report problematic behavior on the platform. Abuse can also be reported on tweets and accounts themselves, or via a form.
"We’re testing a new @Support DM tool to make it easier for people to get help with certain support issues, directly on Twitter. This is a very early test and will be limited in scope for the time being," the Twitter spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.
The bot currently focuses on five categories: Accounts, Abuse, Impersonalization, General, and #TwitterTips. Of those, the abuse category is the most built-out. Here's what it looks like:
(BuzzFeed News did not actually send this report)
The bot is not well-equipped to deal with other common user requests, such as an edit tweet button. So keep dreaming on that front.
Alex Kantrowitz is a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco. He reports on social and communications.
Contact Alex Kantrowitz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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