Meta’s announced a heap of new generative AI features for the holidays, including in-stream visual creation options, AI post prompts, expanded availability of its virtual characters, and more.
First off, Meta’s making its “Imagine” text-to-image tool available in its own app, giving people another way to generate visuals using Meta’s evolving systems.
Imagine has been available to selected users within Messenger chats for the last few months, but now, more people will be able to try out Meta’s AI creation tools.
As per Meta:
“We’re expanding access to imagine outside of chats, making it available in the US to start at imagine.meta.com. This standalone experience for creative hobbyists lets you create images with technology from Emu, our image foundation model. While our messaging experience is designed for more playful, back-and-forth interactions, you can now create free images on the web, too.”
Meta’s also expanding the capacity of Imagine within chats, with users now able to refine custom visuals in-stream.
As you can see in this example, Meta’s new “Reimagine” functionality enables users to re-process AI images, in order to come up with new variations. Chat participants will be able to share their alternate versions, providing an engaging way to use its generative AI tool.
Meta’s also making its chat personas available to more users, which will let more people engage with AI versions of Kendall Jenner, Tom Brady, and more.
Meta’s also adding real-time discovery capacity, via Bing, to more of these personas, while it’s also looking to implement “long-term memory” into your AI bot chats, so that they can include context from your previous conversations.
“To chat with our AIs, start a new message and select “Create an AI chat” on Instagram, Messenger or WhatsApp. They’re now available to anyone in the US.”
Meta’s AI systems will also now be able to highlight Reels in a chat, providing another contextual option for your conversations.
“Say you’re planning a trip to Tokyo with friends in your group chat, you can ask Meta AI to recommend the best places to visit and share Reels of the top sites to help you decide which attractions are must-sees.”
Meta’s also rolling out a range of smaller AI tweaks, including generative AI responses for posts, AI ideas for your Facebook Dating profile, AI assistant tools for groups, suggested replies in DMs, and more.
Personally, I’m not a fan of these types of AI prompts, as it takes the “social” element out of social media. The more that people use these generated responses, the more we move further from actual human engagement, which, eventually, could see more exchanges taking place entirely via bot prompts.
Which doesn’t seem overly engaging, but maybe, as a reference prompt, there could be some value there.
Meta’s also testing new AI tools for creative composition, like an option to convert images from landscape to portrait orientation for Stories.
Meta’s also adding new safeguard elements, like invisible watermarking to track generative AI content and ensure greater transparency, while it’s also continually testing its AI systems to mitigate “risky outputs”.
There’s a heap to take in here, and a heap of opportunity to utilize more generative AI across Facebook and Instagram, in different ways. And while, as noted, some of these reduce human input, and the necessary connective fibers of actual social engagement, given the broader interest in AI, it makes sense for Meta to move with the times, and incorporate more creation elements in its apps.
I’m just not sure that this initial slate of generative AI tools will be that valuable in actual application, though usage behaviors will tell the tale either way.
Meta says that users can interact with its generative AI tools in Messenger, WhatsApp or IG Direct by selecting “Create an AI chat” in your chat options, while you can also type in “@MetaAI” in a group chat followed by what you’d like the assistant to help with.