Meta stuffs its chatbot into your Instagram direct messages

On Friday, people are all over the Internet I noticed A new addition to Instagram: Meta AI, a general-purpose AI-powered chatbot that can answer questions, write poetry, and create photos with a simple text prompt. This move is not surprising. Meta unveiled Meta AI in September 2023 and has spent the past few months adding the chatbot to products like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, so adding it to Instagram seems like a no-brainer.

“Our AI-generated experiences are in development at various stages, and we are publicly testing a bunch of them in a limited capacity,” a Meta spokesperson told Engadget, suggesting that not everyone has the feature available yet. TechCrunchany Noticed for the first time News said that Meta AI was showing up in Instagram's search bar. But for some of us at Engadget, the feature has already appeared in the search bar of your Instagram direct messaging inbox.

Clicking on it allows me to start a conversation with the Meta AI just like I would send a direct message to a friend on Instagram. I've been able to ask the chatbot for word definitions, suggest titles for some stories I'm working on, and create images of dogs on skateboards. I was also able to ask Meta AI to recommend Reels that contained cats, which I was able to do with ease.

But when my colleague Aaron Sobouris asked WhatsApp's Meta AI to recommend Reels, it showed him some Reels in that app as well — suggesting that the Instagram bot isn't doing anything Instagram-specific. Instead, Meta simply inserts the same chatbot into every app you own.

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If you click on the hamburger menu within the bot, Meta AI will also show you a long list of potential actions to ask the bot to take.

Meta AI will provide a list of actions you can ask the bot to take.

Aaron Soboris

Why would you want a chatbot in Instagram To suggest tips for dealing with a credit card charge, or have a discussion about cardio versus weights, or suggest tricks for traveling with points, I don't know. But the point is that if you want to, you can.

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