Looking to deliver more book recommendation features on Facebook, HarperCollins is adding two online bot-powered recommendation engines to Facebook Messenger.
HarperCollins is adding BookGenie and a similar Epic Reads A.I. interface to the Facebook Messenger feature on two of its Facebook pages. Carrie Bloxson, v-p of marketing, said HC is relying on "the power of artificial intelligence" to deliver recommendations for "readers searching for their next great book.”
BookGenie is available on Facebook.com/HarperCollins and the Epic Reads bot (specifically for YA titles) is available at Facebook.com/EpicReads. Both services feature interactive artificial intelligence widgets that can find new HarperCollins titles based on their taste, general mood, and past favorite books.
Both services are activated by clicking on the blue Facebook Messenger button located under the page’s Facebook cover photo. On the BookGenie/HarperCollins page, the messenger will ask the user for information about what books they like and, through an exchange of information with the software, the user will be offered titles.
Epic Reads is an online recommendation site for YA titles that HC launched in 2012; the Epic Reads Facebook bot is accessed the same way as BookGenie. However this bot is designed to be slightly more interactive; it will respond to recommendation requests with an animated video image of a comically cheerful female book lover who asks the user for details about their mood and literary taste before delivering a recommendation.
Margot Wood, Epic Reads senior community manager, said the most popular question her team receives is: "What book should I read next?" Wood said that now, with the bot, "we can scale conversations with our community and engage, share content, and deepen consumers’ connection with our brand.”