Chatbot Developers Tempted by Facebook Messenger’s Global Reach

By Benjie Batanes , Jul 09, 2016 08:30 AM EDT

Chatbot developers received an invitation from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on April of this year. He promised to extend technical support if they decide to use his company's messenger service for their chatbot.

Chatbots are still new but it's already presenting itself as a convenient way for customers and business to connect with each other. Social sites like Facebook can be a very lucrative market since it has millions of personal data that can help businesses acquire more potential customers through chatbot.

Such offer is very hard to ignore for aspiring chatbot makers. Currently, Facebook Messenger is used by almost 80 million adult users. It is installed and used in more than 40 percent mobile smartphones and devices around the globe.

A number of chatbot developers have already taken Zuckerberg's offer. The initial results were mixed but they are quickly learning from their mistakes.

There are very big financial benefits but there also risks and downsides to this kind of exclusive arrangement. In order to get a foothold to the millions of Messenger users, the chatbox developer will have to surrender control of their product. This may not sit well with many developers. While Facebook is a site used by millions, there is no guarantee that those same users will make use of their chatbot.

Zynga once made a partnership with Facebook where the latter took care of promoting and delivering the games to the users. However, Zynga as company suffered heavily once the partnership was over. Developers who created their chatbot for a specific purpose can find other partners beside Facebook.

Partnering with other companies such as Facebook does not guarantee success. Every knowledgeable developer knows that the success of their chatbot lies in its active use by a substantial number of users. This means that they will focus instead on a certain location or group of users instead.

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