If you’re looking for new ways to celebrate Black History Month then look no further then Twitter’s new chatbot! On February 1st Blackbirds, which is Twitter’s black employee resource group, launched a chatbot which provides users with community-focused information, facts, and support about Black history month. All you have to do is DM the @Blackbirds account, and the bot will automatically greet you, allowing you choose from four preset categories: Today in #BlackHistory, #SelfCare, #ForTheCulture, and #ForTheCause. Users will be able to access this feature throughout the month of February.
Shelby Williams, who is a brand planner on Twitter’s Brand Strategy Team and a member of Blackbirds said, “We recognize the incredible impact of black people and culture on our platform every day, so we wanted to contribute to that conversation in a meaningful way during Black History Month through this bot,”
Here’s a brief rundown of how the options work. Today in #BlackHistory shares one out of three facts about black history that are relevant to that particular day. #SelfCare shares simple self-care reminders and tips to help black community members focus on putting themselves first, especially in a socially and politically tense environment. #ForTheCulture highlights the best moments of notable black leaders, along with tweets from influential black voices. #ForTheCause spotlights community events which support the black communities in these five major cities: New York, Los Angeles San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.
Regarding the motivation behind creating the chatbot Williams also said, “Self-love and community were big inspirations when we were building this chatbot, so we wanted to integrate them in a way that would be meaningful to users and allies alike.” In addition to the chatbot, Twitter also made a decision to relaunch the raised fist emoji which commonly accompany the #BHM and #BlackHistoryMonth hashtags.
Though Twitter has long been critiqued for lacking racial diversity inside the company, the company reportedly exceeded its diversity goals for the last year, and have set even more ambitious diversity goals for the year to come. The work and presence of Blackbirds serves as a way for the company to support underrepresented employees and black Twitter users in general.
“Whether we formally recognize it or not, [celebrating black history and culture] is not limited to February. In fact, this conversation is happening every day. But having this annual holiday allows us to take a pause to commemorate our past — and look forward to our future” William added.