Meta wants to add its AI chatbot into your Instagram search bar

Adding an AI chatbot should give you more control when looking for accounts, Reels videos, audio clips, places, tags, and other content. It's now in test mode for some Instagram users.
Written by Lance Whitney, Contributor
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Instagram users may soon be able to leverage AI when searching for content. Meta is testing a new Instagram feature that loads its Meta AI chatbot when you tap the Instagram search bar. 

When it's integrated in this way, Meta AI would be able to help you find specific content on Instagram. You can ask a specific question or select one of the pre-loaded suggestions.

Also: Meta releases OpenEQA to test how AI understands the world, for home robots and smart glasses

A few people contacted by TechCrunch revealed that they used the AI to seek out Reels video clips. In one example, a user tapped a suggestion for "Beautiful Maui sunset Reels" and was treated to some of the best sunsets found in Reels videos.

A Meta spokesperson told ZDNET: "We don't have anything to share today, but our generative AI-powered experiences are under development in varying phases, and we're testing a range of them publicly in a limited capacity."

Instagram users have complained on Reddit about the app's search flaws and limitations. Adding an AI chatbot should give Instagram users more control and assistance when looking for accounts, Reels videos, audio clips, places, tags, and other content.

Meta is also expanding Meta AI to other platforms and other countries. The company told TechCrunch that its AI chatbot is being tested across WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger in India and parts of Africa. More than 500 million of WhatApp's 2 billion users are in India, making it WhatsApp's biggest market.

Also: Meta unveils second-gen AI training and inference chip

Meta launched its AI chatbot in September 2023. Meta AI is designed to respond to basic questions and requests. By integrating Meta AI into Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger, Meta clearly wants to see the chatbot helping users with specific types of content and features.

Meta AI is currently powered by Meta's Llama 2 large language model (LLM). Meta plans to begin rolling out its more powerful and advanced Llama 3 models this month.

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