Great rundown. Main takeaways for us are simple group bots with webviews, messenger codes, bot store and a big push on games. No news on WhatsApp. It’s been a year since this interview with WhatsApp co-founder, where he clearly states his vision: to be present in every smartphone to communicate with your close friends. Messenger is putting a lot of focus on SMBs, but the rest of the world (not US) would prefer that service on Whatsapp (and is already using it for that). A bit of a disconnect there. My gut tells me we are very far from any bot-related initiative for WhatsApp. Although I have my hope that a mix of phone customer matching + WhatsApp social graph + the new Facebook Places API is all part of a master plan, who knows.
SMH for chatbots. Calling foul on the hype, poor conversational abilities, not living up to its hype-slaying promise. But to those who gripe--you don’t get it, do you? Facebook has been saying all along, this isn’t about the conversation or app replacement or really standalone bots. But bots are a about communication at scale. Period. They’re about providing a service. A means to an end, not an end itself. Sorry, the only gold rush here is for businesses to more effectively communicate with their customers on the channels they use the most. The quicker folks realize that, the quicker we can move on to a hold music-free life.
Seems we are not the only ones who feel the same way as we do (see above). Slack’s Head of Developer Relations, Amir Shevat, echoes our sentiment of bots as service providers, complete with delightful (albeit rudimentary) graphics. Key takeaways:
Bots are only one of several UX features in conversational interfaces
Bots are a great hammer, but not everything is a nail
Bots are only as wonderful as the service they expose
As with all interfaces , exposing your service with a bot will not make it awesome unless it is already awesome.
Few things to unpack here: 1) Hilarious to see the word “creepy” repeated so many times in the Wall Street Journal #JournalismToday. 2) Snapchat might actually be the first app to succeed in evading creepiness because, well, users *know* they’re sharing their locations--they’re applying filters that actively share it! 3) ‘Bout time someone provided this level of clear ROI tracking 4) Does FB Messenger have something to learn from this? We at Reply get asked a lot about how bots can leverage location data. Facebook has been cautious about crossing the creepy-line, only allowing bots to access user location by *asking* for it. But perhaps a little exploration in this vein might lead to some more, useful use cases--think bots in the travel category, for instance. If the user can select a “follow me” functionality in the bot in which the bot does get (temporary) permission to serve relevant info based on location, might actually help. But users *must* be complicit. No coupon push notifications allowed--yet.
Being diagnosed with cancer is extremely hard and extremely isolating as well. This bot curates resources curated by cancer patients and caregivers. Keep up the good work.
Heading to Collision in New Orleans this week? Omar, Pablo, and Clara from Reply’s founding team will be there. Let’s meet up! Reply to this, ping us on Twitter, or come by stand number B-128 in the BETA Exhibition Area on Day 3 of the event, Thursday, 4 May!