White House bot lets Americans FB message Obama

White House bot lets Americans FB message Obama
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The White House on Wednesday launched a Facebook Messenger bot that will allow the public to communicate with President Obama and the administration.

“Face-to-face time is a little harder to come by these days, but technology makes it possible for anyone with an internet connection to send a message to the President and his Administration,” Jason Goldman, the White House’s chief digital officer, wrote in a blog post.

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“The White House’s Messenger bot, a first of its kind for any government the world over, will make it as easy as messaging your closest friends.”

Bots in Facebook Messenger, a standalone product with more than a billion users worldwide, send automated responses to users. They have been employed by several news organizations and brands hoping to form a more intimate bond with their audiences.

The White House’s bot walks users through the process of sending the president a message in a conversational tone.

Obama reads 10 letters from Americans every night, a practice that has been widely publicized and even spawned a book. The letters are selected by staffers from the many sent to the White House each day.

The White House presented Wednesday’s announcement as the modern extension of that tradition.

“One of our jobs at the White House is to keep up,” said Goldman. “That’s why today, for the first time ever, you will be able to send a note to President Obama simply by messaging the White House on Facebook, the same way you message your friends.”