Kik opens Bot Shop to encourage more fun and engaging chat
To make its chats more fun for users, Kik launches a Bot Shop and encourages developers to get on the bandwagon to build engaging bots for the platform.
Kik has announced a third-party development platform with the launch of its Bot Shop. Just as the name implies, the objective of the Bot Shop is to enable any developer to create engaging services via a bot that is exclusive to the Kik platform.
There are three categories for launch: entertaining, games and lifestyle. Launch partners include Imperson, Massively and Sequel, who will be working with developers to support them in building for the Kik bot experience. Already, 15 bots are part of the launch, with bots from Funny Or Die, H&M, Riffsy, Sephora, Vine and The Weather Channel among the select few.
Kik is popular among almost 40 percent of US teens, and 275 million users are registered on the service. As Ted Livingston, Kik’s CEO, acknowledged, utilizing bots encourages “users to have more fun and engaging experiences in Kik without having to leave the app,” through “low-friction experiences that don’t hurt the simplicity of chat.”
Imperson co-founder and CTO Eyal Pfeifel said of the partnership to work with developers to create enticing chat bots, “With Kik, we see an opportunity to continue expanding the roles of Chat Personas — from entertainment, marketing and promotion experiences to enabling e-commerce, news delivery and even virtual friends and companions. Messaging has become such a natural form of communication that there are endless possibilities for where this, and AI, can take us.”
The launch also coincides with three additional Kik features: web bubbles (otherwise called “wubbles”) for sharing rich media content in conversation threads; suggested responses to speed up text input; and a mention feature that allows bots to participate in threads involving multiple users/groups.