New Meta AI Chatbots Struggle to Connect with Gen Z Audience


  • Meta’s Gen AI Personas chatbots aim to attract Gen Z users but struggle to match their humor preferences.
  • “Bob the Robot” draws inspiration from “Futurama,” potentially missing the mark as Gen Z humor leans toward absurdity.
  • Snapchat’s My AI gains traction for its adaptability, but privacy concerns emerge as Gen Z questions data collection.

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is on a mission to win over younger customers by introducing witty AI chatbots across its apps. But, the company’s latest endeavor, known as Gen AI Personas, might be missing the mark when it comes to connecting with the Gen Z audience. These new chatbots, currently in testing by Meta employees, are expected to be officially unveiled at the upcoming Meta Connect conference. Despite the company’s efforts, it seems that their understanding of Gen Z humor and preferences may be a bit outdated.

Bob the robot and the challenge of Gen Z humor

One of the AI chatbot personas aimed at capturing the attention of Gen Z users is “Bob the Robot,” a character inspired by Bender from the animated TV series “Futurama.” Bob is designed to be sarcastic, sassy, and slightly sardonic, characteristics that Meta believes will resonate with young people. But, some employees who have interacted with Bob have found him to be not only unhelpful but at times, outright rude.

Meta’s attempt to tap into the farcical humor that appeals to young people might be falling short. While “Futurama” was a popular show, it originally aired between 1999 and 2003, when the oldest Gen Z members were just toddlers. The humor preferences of today’s Gen Z tend to lean more towards absurdity, quick wit, and anti-humor, which is quite different from the “superior intellect, sharp wit, and biting sarcasm” exhibited by Bob the Robot.

This mismatch in humor styles could result in Meta unintentionally catering to millennials who believe they are funny rather than genuinely connecting with Gen Z users. To avoid this pitfall, Meta may want to take notes from Snapchat’s AI chatbot, My AI, which has gained traction among young users for its adaptability and the humor users create by shaping its responses to their prompts.

Gen Z’s complex relationship with AI chatbots

Snapchat’s My AI, which was rolled out in February, has become a trend among young users who intentionally challenge the bot with stressful prompts and share the outcomes on TikTok. This trend showcases the internet’s fascination with “breaking” chatbots, pushing them beyond their programmed limitations. The #snapchatAI hashtag on TikTok has already amassed half a billion views, demonstrating the engagement and interest generated by such AI-driven content.

It’s important to note that not all of Gen Z is embracing AI chatbots with open arms. Several viral videos on TikTok have labeled these bots as “creepy” and invasive, reflecting a broader concern among Gen Z about the protection of their online privacy. Users wonder whether these AI bots are collecting sensitive information, raising valid questions about data privacy and security.

Meta’s awareness of these privacy concerns was evident during the testing of one of their other Gen AI Personas, Alvin the Alien. Alvin’s inquisitiveness, as he asked users many questions about their Earthly experiences, sparked concerns among employees that users might suspect data collection activities. This highlights the delicate balance that companies like Meta must strike when introducing AI chatbots to a privacy-conscious generation.

Meta’s quest to stay relevant by Chasing the Gen Z audience

Meta’s focus on capturing a younger audience stems from its desire to shed its older Boomer brand image and attract a younger adult demographic. CEO Mark Zuckerberg expressed his ambition for Meta’s brands to become the “North Star” for young people online, recognizing the importance of securing the loyalty and engagement of the next generation of internet users.

Currently, only 3.4% of Facebook users fall within the 13-17 age group, with the majority of users being over 25. Similarly, only 8% of Instagram users belong to the 13-17 age category, with the majority being Zillennials, indicating the need for Meta to adapt to the evolving preferences of younger audiences. Whether their attempt to do so with Gen AI Personas will be successful remains to be seen as they navigate the complex landscape of Gen Z humor and privacy concerns.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Aamir Sheikh

Amir is a media, marketing and content professional working in the digital industry. A veteran in content production Amir is now an enthusiastic cryptocurrency proponent, analyst and writer.

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