Kik is a chat app which is used a lot by almost everyone, but especially millennials and those who want to chat with people overseas over Wi-Fi, free of charge. It is one of the many apps which is getting on the bandwagon, wanting to encourage businesses to create bots to use in the app to perform transactions, much like the way that Uber and Lyft have created a partnership with Facebook’s Messenger so users can just order up a car by sending a message. In order to encourage this, Kik has created what is known as the Bot Shop. The point is to encourage developers to create bots for their companies.
As part of the launch there are already 15 bots, some of which are from major brands like H&M, Sephora and even The Weather Channel. The CEO of Kik says that he hopes Kik can be a place which provides users “low friction experiences” with companies in the chat app. This is all just part of a larger trend. Messaging app makers hope that bots, which currently use a combination of artificial intelligence and human touch, will keep users in their apps longer, and will make their apps the go-to applications for just about anything from buying household goods to ordering airline tickets and planning travel.
On Kik, there are three categories of bots available which are entertainment, games and lifestyle. The new feature also comes at the same time as a few other features the Kik is introducing, including one called web bubbles, which allows users to put rich web content into their chats. They’ve also just introduced suggested responses, which could make some chats go faster, and they’ve added the ability to loop in a bot to an already existing group chat. It will be interesting to see how the bot market develops from here on out!
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