This month the Boltmade team is going bot wild! We’re rolling out 31 chat bots on the Kik Messenger platform during May.

Follow along with us on Medium to see what we’ve produced so far and what we release over the rest of the month. We’ll also be letting you know a bit about the lessons we learn.

Why are we doing this?

We’ve been hearing a lot about chat bots lately (see here, and here, and here, and here, and here… you get the point). If you believe the hype, in the near future we’ll be messaging a chat bot rather than opening an app when we want to accomplish something.

What are chat bots?

Bots are built on top of chat applications such as Facebook Messenger, Kik, Telegram, and Slack. Using a combination of conversation and UI, you can talk with bots to get something done. Each of the platforms mentioned previously has a bot platform available, although each takes a slightly different approach to how bots are to be created and used.

There are many different themes being discussed about bots. Some say they will completely replace apps, others say bots are only useful for certain applications, while still others insist that bots will morph into a simple way to access more complicated web apps (as we’ve see happen in WeChat in China). It’s an interesting and lively debate!

We personally would love to see more chat bots being created and used so that we can gather data about how western chatters will use chat bots.

Some questions we’re hoping to answer with this campaign are:

  • What makes a good chat bot?
  • What use cases are most easily supported by bots?
  • What kinds of bots have the best user retention?
  • How do people use bots?
  • How can we help other developers create bots?
  • What sorts of UX best practices apply to bots?

Follow along with us as we work towards our goal of 31 bots in May! We’ll be posting on Medium as we release each bot.