Kik is officially the first messenger app out of the gate with its own bot store, which the company believes will be critical to the success of not only its future; but the future of all messenger apps. That’s what Kik’s Mike Roberts tells The Next Web, while proclaiming: “Messengers are the new browsers and bots are the new websites.”
Kik’s bot store is a mini App Store of sorts, allowing people to download applications to run in Kik which can be used by chatting with directly or by using them in chats with others. Kik is borrowing a cue from Slack’s Giphy integration with a Vine bot that automatically inserts a relevant Vine video when needed. Other examples include an actual GIF bot called Riffsy, and Weather Channel bot that will message you with weather updates.
There are 18 bots in total for now, with a full development platform available to for developers to create all types of new apps in the future. There’s even bots for helping people build bots. Integrating bots with messenger apps is not new, in fact it has been around for decades. What is new is the fact that there is now a platform dedicated to them, which which means bots are not limited to just what publishers create. Not to mention the fact that bot technology has advanced considerably since being first introduced.
Facebook is expected to launch a bot platform at its F8 developer conference next week but that will not change the fact that Kik was first out of the gate and already has brands and developers on board. Who will ultimately win the battle of the bots? We’ll find out once more bot platforms begin to enter the market.
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