×

Analyst: Facebook can kill the 1-800 number—here’s how

Consumers sick of having to dial a 1-800 number to receive customer service might not have to in the near future thanks to Facebook, Ken Sena of Evercore ISI said Monday.

On Tuesday, Facebook will kick off F8, its annual developer conference, where one of the company's priorities is expected to be bots, or programs that use artificial intelligence to help consumers execute simple tasks.

"As we start seeing advances in natural language programing, it's an opportunity for platforms like Facebook to scale that capability for businesses, and ... to potentially replace that 1-800 number," Sena, an internet analyst at Evercore ISI, told CNBC's "Squawk Alley."

"In thinking through whether there's a friction point in wanting to buy something or an issue that you could potentially have post that transaction, a bot can actually handle quite a bit."

The conference is also expected to focus on the company's messenger app, as well as the platform's video capabilities, Colin Sebastian, senior research analyst at R.W. Baird, said in the same interview.

"What we'll see at F8 is obviously Messenger with the robots they've been rolling out is the focus, as well as video and Facebook potentially taking a bigger bite out of television ad budgets. That's a huge opportunity for them," he said.

"But the background story here is machine learning and artificial intelligence and Facebook creating more of a gap between itself and other competitors. I think we'll see that again on display this week."

Investors will be watching the conference closely, as Facebook is scheduled to report quarterly results later this month.

"There's always a potential that expectations can get a little ahead of ourselves but, I think … when you're talking to the buyers right now, they're getting the reach and the frequency they need from Facebook, they're getting better and better performance," Evercore's Sena said.

Shares of Facebook are up more than 5 percent this year, a far cry from its 33.41 percent gain in 2015. Still, Mark Zuckerberg's social media behemoth is the only member of the so-called FANG stocks to be up this year.

Facebook's stock in 2016Source: FactSet

Disclosures: Facebook is an investment banking client of Evercore and Baird is a market maker for Facebook.