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Kik Beat Facebook to Releasing Bot Store

Whilst Facebook are still expected to announce their bot store this month, messenger app Kik has beaten them to the punch. Kik have been using bots for a while within their app but now there's an easy to access Bot Shop with a few little different bots including some you can play games against. There's also a link to build your own.

Despite all the people who have been talking about Facebook's bot store, we don't actually have any hard evidence that they will be doing so. However, we didn't really have that evidence for Kik. When people started talking about Facebook's bots, Kik founder Ted Livingston wrote a post on Medium about bots. He talked about how they were the future and not just because you're talking to an AI but because of instant interaction. His example of ordering a beer using a bot was exactly how Kik's bots work. You scan, a chat pops up and you can choose from several interactions. Some of the bots will allow you to type but you'll have limited options as to what it can accept. For instance the weather bot allows you to type in your city or post/zip code to tailor results to your location, and on the H&M chat you can type in an item of clothing to find similar products.


The Bot Shop is very simple to use and you can find the selection of bots here. All you have to do is open up the page of the bot you want to check out on a second phone, your tablet or computer and you'll see information and a Kik code. If you then open up Kik on your phone, tap the settings open and then open up Your Kik Code, Slide the little tab down at the bottom towards the camera and scan the code on your other screen. This will open up a chat with the bot and you can have fun. There's not a huge selection of bots at the moment but there are some interesting ones. For instance if you're a huge Fifth Harmony fan there's a related quiz, or if you want daily weather updates then you can have them sent to your Kik every morning. I've played with a few of the bots and though some are silly, they are pretty fun.

If you have five minutes and a Kik account then I'd suggest trying out the Tickers the Bot. You can play Tic Tac Toe against him or a friend. Since I only have Americans and a Canadian on my Kik and I tried these bots during the day, I couldn't play against other people, but the bot was sassy and it made it fun. There's also a sort of choose your own story bot called Stories. I tried out the rom-com story line, or started to, but I still need to finish it as it's kind of long and you don't get that many options. Most of the time you only get one option to click but the little choose your own game can be fun.


At the moment the Bot Shop isn't hugely practical but considering Kik is mostly used by teenagers, we at least get to see how a bot store might work on Facebook. Kik do want to make bots one of the next big things and really believe in it so keep an eye on them and see what they bring out.

Rosina is a Songbird rookie with a degree in Creative Writing. She's trying to focus on her novel on the side but is hoping that Content Writing will turn out to be a good career choice in the mean time! Follow her @Songbird_Rosina

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Kik Beat Facebook to Releasing Bot Store Reviewed by Unknown on Friday, April 08, 2016 Rating: 5

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