Chatbots are the new app.
Yes, it’s still a walled garden. Unless you own the messaging client, you’re at the mercy of the owners. Those owners being the bigger client providers whose messaging market you want to access. These days, that means Messenger (Facebook), Slack, Skype or WhatsApp.
Still, it’s a way in.
I’m working on another one. There’s largely no client, yet. I just have few ideas about how it could be profitable. But I really dig how easy it is, relatively speaking, to give an idea legs (or a mouth) so to speak.
I’ve been using Microsoft’s Bot Framework and together with their documentation, the process has been good. That they let you “write once, run anywhere” in a bot context is very savvy. The framework lets you deploy bots via their platform and have access to a laundry list of messaging channels, including:
- Office 365 mail
- Skype (auto-configured)
- Facebook Messenger
- Web (auto-configured, embeddable)
- Direct Line (API to host your bot in your app)
OK, let me head back to my next bot.