Just like the desktop app in the mid-80s, browsers and websites in the mid-90s, and mobile OS and apps in the mid-00s, messaging platforms and chatbots are promising to emerge as the next wave of new IT. The tech community widely sees the development as a once-in-a-decade paradigm shift with potential to create unlimited new possibilities.
Craving a taco for lunch? No need to go to your nearest Taco Bell or even download the app. You can just summon TacoBot on messaging platform Slack and even get recommendations while you place your order.
Microsoft’s recent chatbot PR disaster notwithstanding, brands are on the cusp of a bot explosion. Marketers from Dutch Airlines KLM to beauty retailer Sephora are looking to capitalize on the time consumers spend on messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, Kik and Slack by developing their own automated messaging interfaces — which enable everything from financial transactions to personalized beauty tutorials.
Messaging apps are the platform now — and bots are the new apps. Developers are starting to build these new messaging bots to solve a wide variety of problems. As they do so, these pioneering developers are faced with multiple choices. One of the most critical choices is which platform(s) to build their bot for (e.g. Telegram, WeChat, Slack, Twitter, Kik, or another)?
In the history of the personal computing industry, we have had a paradigm shift about once every decade.
In the 1980s, it all started with the personal computer — the platform was the desktop computer. Developers that wanted to add additional functionality created desktop client software. The gatekeepers off the platform were Microsoft and Apple. Major software applications included Lotus, Word, Excel and many others. A major developer ecosystem emerged around these platforms enabling users to personalize their computing experiences. Over time, however, this framework outlived its purpose.
With the rise of messaging platforms, like Facebook Messenger, Telegram and Slack, we are seeing an increasing number of chat bots that communicate with users by sending and receiving messages for all sorts of uses. With chat bots, the conversation is the interface. Because bot developers must focus on designing what is now the conversational interface.
M won’t be the only artificial intelligence on Facebook Messenger. Facebook has given some developers access to an unannounced Chat SDK that allows them to build interactive experiences and “bots” in Messenger for shopping,
When we’ve got our noses poked into smartphones for hours each day, it’s hard to believe that apps are starting to hit the end of the road. Yet studies consistently show that smartphone users have condensed their daily screentime time into just a handful of favorite apps, often a browser, a couple of chat and social apps and maybe a game or two.
During Facebook’s recent quarterly earnings call with investors, founder Mark Zuckerberg said the social media giant would begin expanding Facebook Messenger to more businesses after testing with companies such as Uber and Everlane. This type of commerce, sometimes referred to as ccommerce, (for chatbased commerce), allows business to interact directly with customers through a messaging service.
While messaging apps such as Whatsapp are incredibly popular with consumers, new apps are emerging to support enterprise requirements. Enterprise tools need to support large teams, advanced workflows, heavy collaboration etc. Enterprise messaging apps are easy to use, can be integrated with backend systems and make collaboration easier by keeping all conversations in one place. Enterprise messaging apps such as Slack, Cotap, Teamchat, etc are gaining rapid adoption in the market.