How Quartz Turns Content Into Conversations for Facebook Messenger

How Quartz Turns Content Into Conversations for Facebook Messenger

The payoff of creating an effective bot

An interview with:
John Keefe
Bot Developer and App Product Manager

It’s tempting for publishers to jump into chatbots for messaging apps—it’s where their audiences spend a huge amount of time. But they have to get the experience just right or risk alienating their readership.

To figure out how a news organization should fit into the conversation, digital publisher Quartz established its in-house Quartz Bot Studio in 2016. In March of 2018, it launched Quartz for Messenger. One of the humans behind the project, John Keefe, the bot developer and app product manager for Quartz, spoke with eMarketer’s Caroline Cakebread about the value of messaging platforms for publishers, and how his team went about making content conversational.


What was the motivation behind creating the Quartz Bot Studio?

John Keefe :

We kicked off the bot studio with the mission of trying to find out how to use conversational interfaces for news and information, and how as a media organization, we could tell stories in a new medium.

It’s something Quartz has been tinkering with, and we had a grant that allowed us to explore it more deeply and experiment with different platforms like Twitter, Slack, Alexa, Facebook Messenger and Google Home. We spent the first year experimenting with different ways to bring meaningful content to our audience through conversational software.

Interview conducted on August 8, 2018

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