WhatsApp and Messenger, the dominant giants of chat space contribute significantly to the instant messaging applications; however Kik, a Waterloo-based company has been making the rounds lately and is currently catering to a dedicated user audience which shows a massive interest in bots.
Yesterday, Kik’s CEO, Ted Livingston spilled out some insights on how the company has risen exponentially in the past year. The application, Kik was recently valuated at $1 billion and currently brags a 300 million plus base of registered users which grew rapidly and steadily from 200 million users in January, 2015. Ted Livingston, further shed some light on its bots implementation quoting a figure of 6000+ bots currently incorporated into the application.
Bots have gotten notoriously popular since Facebook’s Messenger application started pushing them, however, Kik, which has an outreach of at least 40% of teens in the United States has been developing and experimenting with this technology for the past two years. Livingston is of the notion that even though there maybe thousands of developers employed by Facebook for pushing the bot development, however, he believes the Messenger application is not tedious enough to handle bots. Kik, on the other hand, is another story altogether. He believes that Kik provides a platform that is better suited to host bots which people will actually use.
Kik CEO thinks that the current text-based approach to chatbots is similar to how companies perceived websites back in the year 1996. He has high hopes that soon people will understand the true potential of bots and eventually enough developers will partake in the process to create a much stream-lined user experience.
To sum up the pros of having bots, Livingston quoted no new accounts, no additional downloads and no new interface as the key distinguishing features.
While on the subject, he also pointed out the flaw in keeping a text-centric bots approach. He foresees the dawn of an interface-centric bots approach in which there would be less taps required to perform a desired task while the experience would be much more seamless.
He was, however, optimistic about new developments and breakthroughs in bots development touting these days as the ‘experimentational’ early days while forecasting that the era of native apps might come to an end.