Whether you believe they’re the future or just another short-lived fad, bots are the new hot topic in tech.
Slack’s bot integration feature is thriving. Microsoft recently announced its bot platform for Skype and earlier this week Kik launched a Bot Shop of its own. Facebook too is rumoured to be working on a bot platform for Messenger that the company will most likely unveil at next week’s F8 conference.
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With these developments in mind, we can soon expect an unprecedented surge in demand for bots.
However, building truly useful and functional bots often is an arduous and time-consuming task. Fortunately, Canada-based startup Meya is working hard to change this.
The company just launched its own bot platform that aims to streamline the building process so that anyone can readily design, deploy and use bots on messaging apps.
At present, the Meya platform is still in beta and not that user-friendly: there’s a fair bit of programming required to use the the app effectively. Though experienced coders will be able to take advantage of the tool, rookies might have a hard time getting the hang of it.
“Our goal isn’t to eliminate coding, but make it easy to build something useful in the most efficient way possible. It takes time and iterations to make a product that does that”, founder Erik Kalviainen says.
So far, Meya works best with transactional bots for processing orders and bookings, but its application will likely expand in the future.
The platform currently supports Twitter, Slack, Kik, Telegram and SMS via Twilio, but Kalviainen says more integration options – from the likes of Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Amazon Echo and Skype – will be added soon.
What makes Meya particularly useful is that once you built a bot, you can easily integrate it with any of the supported messaging apps without any extra work.
Additionally, the platform will create a profile page for each separate bot so you can quickly share it with customers, users and friends.
The profile page also offers an option to individually deploy or remove a bot from each messaging app.
Kalviainen says that the company plans to release additional materials showcasing other bots built in Meya where users will have the chance to see what they can do with the platform.
Until then, go build some bots.