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Chat bots

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Chat bots, those automated robots that respond to human queries, had an underwhelming debut. They didn't catch on with consumers, and critics were unkind.

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Just 9% of Fortune 500 companies currently work with bots, and “we’re on a long journey,” she says.More than 1.4 billion people used messaging apps in 2016, according to e Marketer.By 2019, more than 25 percent of the world’s population (roughly 1.75 billion people) will be using mobile messaging apps.In reality, chatbots are “entering the market rapidly,” according to Gartner.Chatbots have a wide appeal for both everyday consumers and users, but also the businesses that include bots into their mobile app strategies.Early on, as one of the biggest chatbot proponents, Facebook launched their Messenger platform with chatbots and expectations of rapid adoption.

While they were right in one aspect — Messenger has quickly grown to have the largest user base of any social media platform or chat app — their chatbot hopes and predictions might be a little ways off.

Many have already declared that 2017 will be the year of the chatbots.

Now, we’re not incredibly far into 2017 yet, but the chatbot buzz is still strong and quite a few things have changed.

“We’re fully invested in this, and in it for the long haul.”Marcus says Facebook currently has some 33,000 bots up and running, and that number will grow. companies took a page from huge social networks in Asia, where businesses have been able to insert themselves into the growing volume of conversation on texting platforms.

Announcements about chat bots will be a major focal point again this year at the F8 developers conference in San Jose, Calif., which begins April 18. On China's We Chat, for instance, doctor's appointments and shoe shopping can take place alongside conversations."You have so many different channels to communicate with services and businesses and all of those things are imperfect, but they all bring something," Marcus told USA TODAY in 2016.

Here are 11 amazing facts you might not know about chatbots.