The Future of Messenger/Chat Apps
With chatbot platforms, Facebook and Telegram actually introduced a new breed of applications — messenger apps or chatbots. The concept was probably copied from Wechat, famous Chinese instant messaging service. Wechat offers its users to explore products, make purchases, order services, food, airplane tickets and almost everything without leaving the app.
Here is a video clearly demonstrating how messenger apps work inside Wechat:
Inspiring? It definitely is.
Most important, it unlocks us, programmers, with new opportunities — we can start learning to build chatbots.
I think, it might be very useful to gain these skills a little before demand on chatbot programmers increases. Imagine, how beneficial it will turn, if United States and European markets starts to adapt chatbots really quick, and you are empowered with knowledge ahead. All jobs yours!
Still learning new skills in advance is always a gamble that may never pay back. We might feel losing a lot of time, if industry on the West doesn't go chatbots way. However, this time, it feels like what is present for China, defines the future for US and Europe. And Facebook sets the highest bet.
Meanwhile, developing chatbots is a plain communication through the API with a poor UI. Nonetheless we shall expect an improvement and flexibility, fully mirroring Wechat platform possibilities.
Here are some interesting resources to get started with chatbots:
Let's see whether Facebook, Whatsapp or Telegram are going to become a Wechat of the West.