Twitter's @support bot is now live

Update: The Twitter @support bot is now live, so if you want to talk to a robot about a range of standard user issues now's your chance. 

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The bot behaves in exactly the way that we wrote about in the original story below, so don't expect a fluid conversation. Still, being able to address issues from within the app is a welcome addition. 

Original story continues below...

Twitter has started testing a support bot to deal with standard user enquiries. 

The @support account – currently an account that tweets helpful tips and hints for using the social media platform – will soon have a direct messaging function where a dedicated bot can help solve basic user problems.

At the moment the bot is in a testing phase, and is only capable of dealing with issues relating to five different subjects: Accounts, Abuse, Impersonation, General, and #TwitterTips. 

When the direct message window is opened, a multiple choice window pops up, and the bot works from your selection using a script.

Image via: Buzzfeed

Image via: Buzzfeed

According to Buzzfeed, which has had time experimenting with the new service, most of the enquiries it made were redirected to the support website. Presumably, this is what happens if the user deviates from the script the bot is running. 

Using a report of abusive behaviour as an example, the script the bot has is almost exactly the same as the form that you can fill in on the support website. This basically means that the reporting process is the same, just a little more interactive, and in-app, which is a plus.

Testing, testing…

You can already report abuse directly from tweets and on accounts in general, so this development feels as though it will eventually be useful, although it hasn’t yet found its feet.

The service is still embryonic, and is being adapted based on the feedback of early users. A Twitter spokesperson told Buzzfeed: "We’re testing a new @Support DM tool to make it easier for people to get help with certain support issues, directly on Twitter. This is a very early test and will be limited in scope for the time being,"

Twitter has been making good progress with its services for brands, so it's good to see work being put in to supporting its regular users. 

There's currently no news on when this service will be available to general users, but we'll keep you updated as we hear more.

Andrew London

Andrew London is a writer at Velocity Partners. Prior to Velocity Partners, he was a staff writer at Future plc.