Tech

Ready for a Chatbot Version of Your Favorite Instagram Influencers?

Being an influencer can be a lot of work. Instagram thinks A.I. can lend a big hand.

Instagram is pitching popular influencers on a program that relies on artificial intelligence to interact with fans, the latest example of how Meta, Instagram’s parent company, is trying to expand the technology across its products.

The program, which is in its early stages of testing and known as “Creator A.I.,” would allow influencers to chat with fans through direct messages on the social network and potentially through Instagram comments in the future, according to five people briefed on the company’s plans. The program will essentially be a chatbot that mimics the “voice” of the Instagram influencer to respond to fans, the people said.

Most of the messages would be sent automatically and would at least initially disclose that they were A.I.-generated, according to two of the people.

The goal, according to the people, is to give creators with large followings the ability to better connect with fans while decreasing the amount of work required to personally respond to large numbers of messages and comments. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were asked to sign nondisclosure agreements as part of the program.

Eva Chen, Instagram’s director of fashion partnerships, recently pitched creators on the effort and the platform has also been briefing agencies on it, according to three of the people involved in the talks. It is unclear if the program will be widely released.

Creators can select the data Meta uses to copy the way they speak, including their previous Instagram posts, direct messages, comments, and audio from Reels and Instagram Stories, two of the people said. Influencers can also dictate specific responses to certain questions, one person said.

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