Last week, Microsoft ‘soft-launched’ Zo without making a big fuss about it; today, Microsoft is making a fuss about it: Zo has officially launched, and is now available on Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat.
As we mentioned one week ago, Microsoft’s previous attempt at a chatbot – Tay – didn’t go very well.
Zo seems to be following a much saner model; Zo is more alike Microsoft’s Xiaoice – Zo’s Chinese cousin, who has been online for the Chinese users for a couple of months.
Microsoft claims there are over 115,000 people interacting with Zo since its soft launch earlier this week – of course, limited to the Kik platform. Today’s official launch means Zo is now available on other platforms like Twitter, Facebook Messenger, and Snapchat.
There’s still a hurdle, though: you need an invite to have a chat with Zo. Kik is still available for everyone, but the other platforms remain limited behind an invite-wall.
Zo is not only limited in access but also limited in what she can do or talk about; Microsoft isn’t taking any chances with Zo – if you change the topic to anything remotely related to politics or social issues, it remains vague with its answers.
The access limitations – putting it behind an invite-wall – helps keep Zo safe from the ‘attacks’ that Tay suffered from ‘fun-loving’ communities such as 4chan.
If you want to have a chat with Zo, click over here and ask for an invite – or start using it now on Kik.
Zo has profiles on all major social networks, on Facebook, she is known as simply Zo, while on Snapchat she is Zo.Snaps, and on Twitter she is ZoChats. There’s also an Instagram profile with exactly one follower and no content – it’s’ called Zo on Instagram, just like Facebook.
Hopefully Microsoft’s precautions this time will save Zo from suffering the same fate as her ancestor.