In recent years, people have been actively moving their communication to messaging apps. Therefore it’s been only logical for bots to appear in the apps as a way of letting companies speak with or entertain people.
Today, a popular chat app Kik launched a new bot store inviting users and developers to join in this trendy form of communication. Users can access the bot store when they create new chats, while developers and brands are welcome to create their own bot. For this they can try dev.kik.com and if they need any help Kik will provide it. Before a new bot becomes available in the store, it will have to get approval by the company. Users can find new bots by tapping on ‘Find People’ in Kik’s search bar and on the app’s website.
In order to understand how this works, we need to know what a bot is. These are automated accounts that have been programmed to interact with users. The company has offered bots in its chat app in the past, which you can converse with over text and use to perform basic web tasks.
Now, the Kik Bot Shop offers mini-apps and you can add them to your account and either chat to directly or use in your chats with others. At the moment, there are 15 bots from well-known companies, including entertainment bots, such as Vine and Riffsy, games – TicTacToeBot, and specific use bots, such as The Weather Channel, clothing brand H&M and cosmetics store Sephora.
It seems that quite soon, any messaging app without a platform for bots will be seriously lagging behind. Messengers are the new browsers and bots are the new websites, according to Kik’s Head of Mobile Development Mike Roberts.
As we know, only recently Microsoft launched its bot platform for Skype and Facebook is expected to announce a bot store for Messenger next week.