Link of the Week: HarperCollins Bots Recommend Books Through Facebook Messenger

HarperCollins has added two new AI services to Facebook Messenger, which are designed to give on-demand book recommendations.

Publishers are continuously working to find new ways to interact with readers and give recommendations online as effectively as Amazon has managed to. As the first publishers to utilize Facebook and the Facebook Messenger feature, HarperCollins has added two new bots that Facebook users can access: BookGenie and Epic Reads. BookGenie is available on HarperCollins main Facebook page and the YA-focused Epic Reads is available on their Facebook page.

It all begins with you engaging either BookGenie or Epic Reads in a Facebook Messenger conversation. From there, the bots ask questions to determine what books you may be into, starting with a book you’ve recently read and how you enjoyed it. After you stumble upon a title that looks interesting to you, the bot provides a link directly to the HarperCollins website to encourage people to buy from them.

It’s interactive, definitely, and a fun way to get to know new titles directly from the publisher. While it’s not nearly as pervasive as what Amazon does with their recommendation bars on search pages—especially since they restrict their recommendations to books published only  by HarperCollins—it’s a new way to get people to feel more connected to the HarperCollins brand and have fun while doing it.

Link of the Week: Facebook’s Workplace

Facebook officially launched Workplace earlier this week, which is an extension of their social media platform with more focus on servicing office workers.

Workplace is looking to replace office email and other similar services so that Facebook can be the only communication tool needed at jobs. With it’s large base of up to 1.7 billion users, Facebook is hoping to take advantage of these numbers by making themselves a one-stop place for workers before, after, and during their office hours. It would be interesting to see what sort of side-effects this level of social media embracing would have on work life within publishing, especially for those who try to keep their personal social media sites and their professional lives separate.

Pace Publishing Professor Quoted in Smartphone App Article

Pace MS in Publishing Professor Aaron Goldsmid was quoted in a very interesting article about a new Facebook messaging system that involves talking heads. Prof. Goldsmid teaches PUB 622J, the “Seminar on Books & Magazines: Practical Applications of Product Management in Digital Media” course with Professor Christine Ford, which offered during the Summer I class session.  Prof. Goldsmid currently works as a Digital Product Manager for Facebook.


  The Verge article by Ellis Hamburger chronicles the story of Facebook product designers, Joey Flynn and Brandon Walkin, who developed “Chat Heads.”  “Chat Heads” was designed to allow people to send text messages while doing other things on their smartphones.  Your contact’s face will appear in a bubble across the top of any smartphone app being used and allow you to effectively multitask!


Click here to read the full article from The Verge about how “ChatHeads” are becoming the future of Facebook messaging, and what Prof. Goldsmid thinks about it!

By: Diana Cavallo