Thanks so much for your patience! If you’re around the bay, please ping me for coffee :)
Now, back to BOTS! It’s been a big (few) week(s) for bots. Google and Amazon picked their belles of the A.I. ball, acquiring/acqui-hiring API.ai and Angel.ai, respectively. Will this mean more free NLP services a la Wit.ai? NLP for one and all?
Payments for Messenger was finally released! And, just as exciting--Facebook shipped a way to easily share content with your Messenger friends, substantially boosting the potential for bot virality. Using these new features, we’ve been working with a financial services company for their “Account Linking,” and the experience is just amazing. It seamlessly opens a login page, returning the authentication details for that user to access personal information, then brings them right back to the bot. Very cool.
And last but not least: WeChat opened their Bot API (hope you’ve been brushing up on your Chinese), LINE opened their Bot API for Business Accounts, and finally, seems Oracle has plans for their own Bot Platform. What a week(s)!
Google released their version of WhatsApp, with very powerful AI capabilities. It is a very different approach to Messenger, where you can request information from a bot within a conversation. I am pretty sure Google is reaching like crazy big brands to create their @mycompany bot. My view: I don’t think it will take off, being very late to the party and having as their main differentiator a very geeky thing.
Twilio confirms what we already knew: people communicate via messaging. A lot. So naturally they’d prefer to extend that to their communications with businesses. Further proof that bots have a place as the new standard (not fad) for B2C communications.
Founder of Kit bot (that was acquired by Shopify back in April) talks the state of bots, and more importantly, the utility-focused future he sees for them. If a bot can’t deliver value faster than a person can, it’s not doing it’s job (looking at you, Poncho).
Simpler is better--PennyCat proves that simple, single-focused features are the way to get actual consumers on board, and more importantly, actually conveying the long-term value of bots (A.K.A. something regular people actually want/aren't annoyed by)
Apple acquired Turi, a machine learning platform, for around $200M. Apple has more than $200 billion in cash, and there's more and more machine learning in the latest iOS and Android versions, so it shouldn't be surprising if they are looking to acquire other startups in the space of AI and ML.
Talkabot is this week! Conference for developers, entrepreneurs and technologists looking to understand more about what it takes to build a successful messaging experience. Get a discount with this link.