In case you can’t tell from the title of this post, 2016 seems to be the year of BOTS. There’s been a mass craze surrounding bots, and developers and platforms alike, are flocking to the phenomenon. I’ll tell you what I mean – Take Slack for example. Although it’s a team communication platform, it has “bots” integrated into their platform (some official, some that are third party) that allows for communication to be even more fluid. For example, if you Slack as religiously as I do, you can find all sorts of “bots” that can range from any number of categories from social (GIPHY) to productivity (CALCULATOR) that enables you to pull up a calculator with a simple “slash” / command.


Another great example of bots/ai (this company falls into both in my opinion) is, or Amy, as some call her – is an ai bot that is a virtual assistant to help schedule your meetings. Not going to lie – I got access to and what an amazing product. Amy allows me to schedule and setup meetings, appointment reminders, the whole nine yard, from a simple email. What I mean by simple email is, all I have to do is cc (carbon copy for your nubs) Amy and she’ll set everything up for you. It’s that SIMPLE and that INTUITIVE. To learn more about, click on the link above and signup to request Beta access.


So why am I telling you all this? Well, bots seem to be not only for productivity (Slack, but also for social/messaging. For starters, Facebook just recently announced their own version of Siri/Cortana, called M. M is supposed to be an ai assistant that will enable Facebook Messenger users to do everything from order flowers to hail a Lyft, all within the platform. Imagine, not having to leave your conversation and be able to order a Lyft all within one platform? That seems to be what Facebook wants to do. Similarly, no different from Facebook, another Messaging platform has really vamped up its bot game. That platform is Kik, a mobile messenger that is popular within the teenage demographic. Kik has been in a bot game for a little over a year, working with various brands and retailers to provide a one-on-one bot/chat experience for their users. Their CEO, Ted Livingston is a firm believer in the bot revolution, and recently wrote an article about why the future of chat is BOTS – not ai. You can read the article here.

We think the answer is actually quite simple: For the first time ever, bots will let you instantly interact with the world around you. – Ted Livingston    

What does he mean by this in his vision for Kik? Well the article mentions a pretty neat example. He redirects readers to a recent Forbes article done by one of its staff reporters, Parmy Olson. She goes into detail of how she recently visited Kik’s hometown of Waterloo. Using Kik, she “scanned” a Kik code that was available on a wall at a Coffee shop she was at. Upon scanning the code, she was immediately directed to a dedicated bot that was setup for the coffee shop to take orders. She punched in her order, paid via the bot, and was told her coffee would be ready for pickup in 5 minutes. It was THAT simple. Now tell me, is that not a smart bot? If you don’t believe me, read the full article here.


So yeah, it seems BOTS are all around us and are here to stay. What we once that as “robots” and “just for show” is now the new, hip, tech. Developers are flocking to platforms like Slack, Facebook, and Kik to develop more and more bots. Advertisers are going to want a piece of the action (they seemed to already be vying for parking spaces) in consumers’s minds. Whatever the case, bots are hype right now and seem to be headed in a positive direction. With mobile penetration rates continuing to increase and more and more users are using smartphones, technology needs to adapt as well. That adaptation, along side strategic partnerships with brands and marketers, will provide new and seamless experiences for end users.

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