Facebook’s introduction of chatbots has opened up a new dimension in technology altogether. Almost every single outlet out there wants a piece of it and is committed to creating their own bots as soon as they can. Users have also shown interest in them, but there is just one problem – chatbots introduced by Facebook are downright terrible and boring. Kik, another popular social networking platform, is looking to capitalize on Facebook’s failure by catering to people that have shown interest in chatbots by coming up with one that is more efficient.
In an interview, Kik’s CEO Ted Livingston stated that things have been pretty good for them as their app has been given a huge $1 billion evaluation and it currently caters to more than 300 million users, which is a huge increase from 200 million users last year. In the light of all this success, Kik has created over six thousand chatbots, and is planning on creating a whole lot more.
Livingston Wants Kik Chatbots to Differ from Facebook Chatbots
At the moment, they don’t really differ much, but Livingston seems focused on improving the tech. He opined that chatbots aren’t something that will just come and go as they are here to change up the tech environment altogether. Therefore, more work should be done on them. He further added that the chatbots approach devised by Facebook is text-based, where users have to write everything and then wait for the bot to respond. This can get boring real fast, which is why Kik is looking to create chatbots that provide options to the users.
For example, you are looking to order a pizza. If you’re using Facebook’s chatbots, then you will have to write something like, ‘Hey, my name is john, I want a large pepperoni pizza at this address at this time.’
Now that’s a lot to write and Livingston wants to change that. He said that if someone wants to order a pizza, then all the options should be provided to them. A user should just click on large, pepperoni, and then give out his address. He believes that people want simplicity and we should give it to them.
Plans for the Future of Chatbots
As mentioned above, Kik already has over 3 million users and six thousand chatbots, and they are going to build up from here. Livingston admitted that his app is not as strong as WhatsApp or Messenger, but if they come up with chatbots that function better than their competitors’, then it will certainly help increase the numbers. This is the key focus for their app now as they are looking to become THE hub for chatbots. Despite the success of other social networking platforms, Livingston believes that Kik is the best platform for chatbots and he would like to make them as efficient as possible.
Facebook’s attempt at chatbots is pretty mediocre as they are not helpful at all and become incredibly boring just in a few minutes. The text-based conversations are inefficient because not all the people speak correct English, so minor errors keep on occurring. The idea Kik is pursuing seems viable and can be quite helpful for the people around the globe. However, as Livingston stated in the interview, it is still “early days” for chatbots so there’s a long way to go. Let’s hope that the steps these chatbots and their creators take are in the right direction.