Meta launches AI chatbot for select users in India

Meta AI

Three points you will get to know in this article:

  • Meta tests GenAI chatbot on WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger in India.
  • Chatbot, powered by LLaMA, offers query responses and content suggestions.
  • Focus on India’s large user base for refining AI and strategic growth.

Meta's GenAI Chatbot Expansion

According to reports, the social media giant Meta is testing a GenAI chatbot for Indian users on its three platforms – WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger. A spokesperson from Meta confirmed the news to TechCrunch, stating, “Our generative AI-powered experiences are currently in development across different stages, and we are testing a variety of them in a limited capacity.” The feature known as ‘Meta AI’ is driven by the company’s open-source large language model, LLaMA (Large Language Model Meta AI). Currently, this service is only accessible in the English language.

Chatbot Capabilities and User Data Usage

The description of the feature on WhatsApp mentions that the chatbot enables users to “receive responses to any query”, “view suggestions”, “locate information”, and “create unique images”.

Although social media platforms have assured users that private messages will continue to be end-to-end encrypted and unread by Meta, they have also stated that users’ AI messages may be utilized by the company to enhance AI quality.

The India pilot launch follows months after Meta AI was initially introduced by the tech giant in September of last year.

Focus on Emerging Markets and Competitive Positioning

According to the report, the AI chatbot has been introduced in specific regions of Africa as the company aims to expand its AI-powered services to keep current users engaged and entice new ones. Additionally, the tech major has begun testing AI chatbots in the US recently. Although growth has stabilized in the North American region, Meta remains dedicated to expanding its presence in India and other emerging markets. India stands out as its primary focus, boasting the largest user base, particularly with over 500 million users on WhatsApp alone. Additionally, Meta reportedly enjoys a substantial presence with 362 million Instagram users and 314 million Facebook users in the country.

The AI chatbot pilot in India is expected to assist the social media giant in refining its services and expanding its dataset to train its LLM. This initiative will also enhance the company’s competitive positioning against rivals like OpenAI and Google, who are capitalizing on the growing popularity of GenAI and attracting new users with unique offerings.

Data Center Plans and Financial Performance

The recent pilot program is closely followed by reports that the social media giant is planning to set up its first data center in India at the Reliance Industries (RIL) campus in Chennai. Facebook India experienced a 19% year-on-year increase in net profit to INR 352 Cr in FY23, with total revenue also increasing by 20% to INR 2,776 Cr from INR 2,324 Cr in FY22.

Meta is expanding its reach by testing a GenAI chatbot for Indian users on WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger. The ‘Meta AI’ chatbot, powered by the large language model LLaMA, offers various capabilities like responding to queries and suggesting content. Despite assuring user data privacy, Meta plans to leverage AI messages for enhancing its services. The company is focused on India’s large user base, aiming to refine its AI through the pilot program. Additionally, Meta’s plans for a data center in India and improved financial performance in the region reflect its strategic growth initiatives.

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