Skip to main content

The bots are coming: Kik opens its own bot store with Vine, Sephora, and more

Kik Bots
Need to book a flight? Soon you may just ask a bot on Kik to do it for you.

The tech industry is abuzz with hype surrounding the chat bot. These personal assistant-like automated accounts live within your chat apps and can help with things like bookings, calendars, and so on. Instead of having to download extra apps to use chat bots, you can simply head to the messaging apps you most likely already have installed on your phone.

So where does Kik come in? The company just launched its own bot store, which is essentially the bot version of the App Store — developers can create bots for the company’s store and once they’re approved, you can access them right in the app.

Kik is offering a few bots as part of the store at launch, including The Weather Channel, Vine, and FunnyOrDie; but any developer can use Kik’s tools to create their own bot for the store. You can check it out online here.

Bots can only perform basic tasks at the moment, but they have huge potential. Part of their rise to popularity is due to how easy they are to use. You don’t have to download a new app to use them, and they work on any device with the app installed, regardless of operating system. As such, any Kik user can jump on the bot bandwagon.

“Chat is going to be the next great operating system. 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,” said Kik CEO Ted Livingston in a recent article on Medium.

Kik isn’t the only one banking on bots. Facebook is expected to unveil its own bot store at its annual developer conference next week, and Microsoft took the wraps off of the new version of Skype, which heavily features chat bots, last week.

The fact that Kik launched its bot store a week before Facebook isn’t a huge deal for the social network, especially when you consider the popularity of Messenger. However, Kik’s rising popularity among teens may be cause for concern at Facebook. If the social network wants to convince Kik’s users that its bot store is better, Facebook will have to launch with more partners than Kik.

It remains to be seen exactly how the general public reacts to bots, which will ultimately determine whether or not they really are the next big thing.

Editors' Recommendations

Christian de Looper
Christian’s interest in technology began as a child in Australia, when he stumbled upon a computer at a garage sale that he…
Apple starts to reopen its stores, but U.S. shoppers have to wait
ron johnson apple store interview  abu dhabi

Apple is starting to reopen some of its stores around the world after closing them on March 14 due to the coronavirus.

All but one of its 22 stores in Australia are set to open their doors on Wednesday, May 7, after the government there announced the easing of lockdown restrictions that have been in place for more than a month.

Read more
Points mean prizes as Google Play Store rewards program comes to U.S.
google play

If you sometimes find yourself splashing the cash in Google's Play Store, then signing up for its new rewards program is surely a no-brainer.

Following an earlier launch in Japan and South Korea, Google Play Points has now arrived in the U.S., giving Android users the chance to earn rewards and discounts for their purchases in the Play Store.

Read more
Apple favored search results for its own App Store apps over more relevant ones
Apple App Store Logo

If you searched for an app in Apple’s App Store over the past year, chances are good that one of the first results showed you software made by Apple, even if it had little to do with what you were searching.

A New York Times investigation into the App Store suggests that Apple has favored its own apps over those made by third parties. The paper analyzed search terms within the App Store and found that Apple’s own apps ranked first for at least 700 different search terms within the store. That research was compiled by app analytics firm Sensory Tower, which found that in some cases the App Store would show as many as 14 diffferent Apple apps before showing apps made by rival companies, with the exception of those that paid Apple for ad placement.

Read more