About.me vs Flavors.me… Which is Best?

About.me vs Flavors.meRecently, the new platform About.me was launched after having kept us all waiting. Earlier, we wrote about this new platform on our blog, so now I think it’s time to take a closer look at About.me and Flavors.me, since both sites basically offer the same service. However, the latter one has been on the air since February 2010. We have tried out both of them and here, I will summarize some of our opinions of both sites.

The Simpleness of About.me
Since a lot of us who are users of social media/networks have multiple online profiles across the web, for example, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr etc., About.me has made it easier for us to manage one single online identity. As About.me writes on their website, the platform enables the users to:

1) Create a personal, dynamic profile page that points users to your content around the web (versus depending on Google search)

2) Understand how many people see your profile, where they’re coming from and what they do on your page.

Personally (and I’m not a computer/website expert at all!), I find this site very simple to manage. I think it’s a great idea that you can gather all links to your profiles on various social networks at one page in an easy way – especially if you don’t have a personal webpage. Currently, About.me is in private beta, though, but you can enter the site and reserve an URL, and as soon as it is possible to create a profile you’ll be contacted by About.me.

When building your About.me profile, you’re met by a frame with headings such as “Backgrounds”, “Biography”, “Colors” etc., so you can make your own design in a very easy way. On the website of About.me, you can gather inspiration from the About.me team’s own profiles.

In addition, at About.me you can also track your profile statistics, and this is a free feature – compared to Flavors.me.

However, if I should point to an element of About.me which is not that great, it is the fact that your options for building a profile are very “basic”. There’s only a specific amount of possibilities available, and here Flavors.me actually has a clear advantage.

The Professionalism of Flavors.me
Compared to About.me, I have to say that Flavors.me has some benefits. It appears a bit more professional and gives you more options than About.me. For example, there are more opportunities for creating a more personal and different page as more layouts are available – and even more if you choose to pay a certain amount of money.

Like with About.me, all of your linked content is pulled into your page in order to be easy to access. You see a list of your online profiles, and if you click on one of these feeds the content will transition into view. However, when making my page on Flavors.me, I found the system a bit slower than on the other platform.

On the basis that Flavors.me is as easy and simple to manage as About.me and gives room for making a more personal design, in addition, I think I’ll give the edge to Flavors.me. They are both great sites each with different benefits, so it’s probably just a small matter of preference in relation to which platform people choose to use. It’s possible to create a personal page with both of them; it’s only about being creative, so go give it a shot!

Which one do you prefer?

Get Ready for the Bots – on Facebook Messenger

2Facebook Messenger was released 5 years ago and now has over 900 million users. Originally receiving a flood of negativity towards a standalone messaging app, compared to one simple Facebook app, users seem to be warming to it. The decision to make it standalone does make a lot of sense, since messaging is a big part of people’s lives nowadays and Facebook even bought the domain messenger.com to launch a version for web browsers last year. Their 900 million users will more than likely be merged with Whatsapp’s 1 billion users, which means that Facebook will have the personal phone number of every single user – sounds like $19 billion well spent.

 

Open for Business

So that’s humans covered. Where to go next? Facebook is now venturing into their next Messenger-based project: bots. If you haven’t been keeping up, Facebook launched Messenger Platform last month, which holds within it, chatterbots. Luckily, these bots are not machine learning bots, such as the disaster that was Microsoft’s Tay. They do have some humorous replies if provoked but they ultimately steer the conversation back to the subject they’re designed to cater for. Thanks to their highly advanced Send/Receive API, these bots are able to reply with actual structured messages, including links, images, hotel reservations, the weather etc. You may immediately compare this to Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, Google Now and Amazon Echo, but what sets bots on Messenger apart is the fact that businesses can develop them, which in turn gives them another way to develop customer service. Simply put, bots could end up changing the world by replacing humans in such job sectors. Without the bespoke customer service integration that Messenger bots provide, the above voice-activated services will most likely not be able to solve business-related queries themselves. Having said that, the way bots behave is very reminiscent of the way Siri does. Maybe they’ll talk to each other one day and we’ll get the best of both.

 

Customer Service and Added Value

So how can these bots work for brands? Well, eventually, every major company in the world will have an account, which will be a first port of call when contacting their company. The reason this is almost definite is due to Facebook’s already-mammoth-sized network of users. It doesn’t get any bigger than Facebook when advertising to individual people, so connecting Messenger bots (as customer sales reps, for example) is extremely attractive. Messenger codes, one of many things taken from Snapchat, will also make it easier for businesses to connect with their customers. One industry example is how bots will almost certainly change how banking works for the consumer, replacing an app or web-based system with a dialogue with a machine that is able to understand your every need. The option to send money within Messenger itself is highly likely too, like Snapchat allows. This could also eliminate the hassle of speaking to a bank’s voice recognition system when calling by telephone – no more time (and money) wasted by the dreaded “I didn’t catch that. Please try again.” These voice recognition systems are essentially bots done badly, but they’re based on voice, which is a lot more difficult to translate into zeros and ones. Plus, you cannot autocorrect your voice (yet). I can see this whole system being replaced by bots – it could even connect you to a human advisor with ease, as you’re most likely already using your phone. Even if you’re using the desktop version or Facebook Chat, I’m sure they’ll figure something out. Besides banks, what other markets will benefit from this? Restaurants, travel and possibly supermarkets with online shopping services are big industries for it to thrive. The healthcare industry could also be a large portion – Healthtap have already created their bot, which isn’t surprising considering one of the first ever chatterbots was called DOCTOR and simulated a psychotherapist. In fact, the potential amount of markets are endless for this stream of interaction – just like it is with human customer service.

 

At the end of the day, customers are moving towards messaging as their preferred choice of customer service. And as generations progress, it will no doubt become the standard – a phone call will most likely be reserved for long, meaningful conversations with friends and family, which in turn will add even more meaning to them. The phone call will no longer be taken for granted, but talking to robots will be.