By Kate Van Druff
The world of technology continues to evolve around us at warp speed, changing the way we pass the time, socialize, and do business. Information that once existed as books in a library now thrives as pages within websites on the Internet. Artificial intelligence’s tech advances now bring us mobile apps offering interactive bots designed to give you convenience and on-demand answers and information. Chat bots mimic real conversation and typically provide a valuable service as well.
Kik, a top messaging app popular with teenagers, recently launched a Bot Shop where developers and brands can build and introduce their own bots. The shop currently has over three dozen bots and games. The key idea behind these bots is to make it easier to “instantly interact with the world around you,” according to Kik CEO Ted Livingston.
A Look at the Kik Bot Store
Bots lend expediency in handling a variety of tasks, from checking the weather to keeping tabs on real-time sports scores and even getting makeup advice. Kik features a diverse list of available bots organized across several categories— New and Noteworthy, Entertainment, Lifestyle, and Games. Over two dozen bots are listed in the Bot store with more on the horizon and a handy “Build a Bot” button featured prominently at the top of the page. The Bot Shop leverages a minimalist design and a user-friendly interface just right for browsing through the available bots or searching for something more specific. Clicking on an app summary description opens a page with more in-depth details on its use as well as more suggestions in the same category and a scan code to interact and chat with the bot in Kik.
Different Examples of Bots
Kik’s AI-powered bots are designed to help users get more out of chat without clogging up their experiences. The advent of chat bots marks a shift in technology where bots serve as a clean and convenient way to streamline certain parts of life. The current bot roster on Kik Messenger includes the likes of numerous major brands— Candies, Funny or Die, H&M, Sephora, The Weather Channel, and Vine to name a few. Some bots may focus on shopping while others tend to be based more on entertainment. Chat bots can chase away boredom with a video, a story, or letting you play a game, among other cool tasks. Bot games run the gamut from celebrity quizzes to a space adventure or a zombie invasion.
The Future of Bot Interaction
With so much of Kik’s user base falling into the U.S. teenager demographic, it’s exciting to imagine where things will go from here. Shopping assistants, makeover advice, and games open the door to further refinement of allowable interactions with chat bots. While most of the user engagement now seems to center on information gathering and gaming, the future may hold so much more.
If technology products like the Amazon Echo’s Alexa are already doing it, it’s only a matter of time until chat bots start to truly behave like personal assistants, accepting directives like placing actual orders rather than just assisting with shopping. And Kik’s Ted Livingston expects the value of chat bots to be even greater—for the first time in tech, bots will let you “interact with the world around you.”
Building a Bot for the Store
Engagement time and repeated use are the two key objectives to keep in mind when you’re planning to build a bot for Kik. Building a bot can be a unique supplement or a simple alternative to creating an all-out mobile app, giving your idea or your brand immediate access into an already populated platform with an existing user base. Getting your brand in front of Kik’s users can help to establish a sense of trust, interest, and loyalty over time, as long as you are offering some type of value. If you don’t have the coding skills to design your own bot, get in touch with us at SparkNET Technologies to help develop your idea into a chat bot or a fully functional mobile app.
Livingston says, “Chat apps will come to be thought of as the new browsers; bots will be the new websites. This is the beginning of a new internet.”