Thanks to Facebook F8, everyone is talking about bots again and there are skeptics and evangelists alike making their points known. The fact is bots are not a cure all, and not all businesses will reap the same benefits by integrating bots into their communication flows.
As you can see, even Facebook is off to a bumpy start, and the first batch of bots got lots of criticism. Still, we believe that understanding messaging platforms and also taking a rigorous approach to exploring if and how bots fit into your businesses ecosystem is a useful exercise.
We’re thinking about this stuff all the time so if you want to chat about how bots may (or may not) be useful for you, just ping me.
Dan Grover, PM at WeChat, tells us why the success of messaging apps does not necessarily come from the success of bots. He suggests that the success of messaging apps is really a side-effect of the failure of Android and iOS to serve the needs of users. Grover also introduces a brief history of messaging apps, including with many references to WeChat.
There’s a lot going on in this article. The most insightful bit for us is the idea that we are getting better and better at providing truly on demand services. One example is Uber’s deep integrations with Facebook Messenger and Citymapper, which show that there’s life beyond the app store. Uber is going where users are already spending their time and showing up at the time when it is most relevant.
While Spring bot is a good example of a transactional bot, the author argues that the experience is not good for user discovery. High intent shoppers with a specific style or item in mind might get what they’re looking for, but low intent users might reach a dead end early in the experience which prevents them from becoming loyal Spring customers.
Create an impressive Telegram bot and get $25,000 in return, not bad! Telegram is full of bots, but to find a quality one is hard. This may help. Hopefully their next move is an official bot store with a review process and rankings based on usage.