According to Kik’s Head of Messaging, Mike Roberts: “Messaging apps are the new web browsers and bots are the new websites.”
For those unfamiliar, bots are services backed by AI which let users complete tasks by sending short messages.
Kik’s newly-released Bot Store is essentially a mini App Store that encourages users to download add-ons that run alongside the main Kik app – allowing them to browse and engage from a singular platform.
At time of writing, there’s a bot that inserts Vine videos into chats, similar to Giphy’s popular Slack integration. If you prefer GIFs, Riffsy has a bot for Kik. An official Weather Channel bot can tell you the forecast on demand or send you regular updates, and if you’re looking for the latest beauty tips, Sephora‘s bot has you covered.
There are currently 18 bot add-ons in the store, but Kik is keen for developers to build more in the coming months. Roberts says that getting started is “a simple affair”, with details available on the company’s developer page.
Given the explosion in popularity, the time has now come for those that specialise in bot development to showcase what they can do.
Integrating bots within apps isn’t a new concept. In fact, it has been around for decades. What is new, is the fact that there is now a platform dedicated to them, which means bots are not just limited to what publishers create.
Users are increasingly moving their communication to messaging apps, with bots coming into play as an efficient and powerful way of allowing brands to converse with and entertain millions. Soon enough, there will be “a bot for that”.