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Facebook Messenger is rising in popularity 11 Ways Facebook Messenger Will Soon Rule Your Life 11 Ways Facebook Messenger Will Soon Rule Your Life You might be put off by all of the features Facebook Messenger has, but you have to admit that this big boy is going places. Read More , but pretty soon you may not know whether or not you are speaking to an actual human being. That’s because chat bots How To Make A Chat Bot For Your Site Or Business How To Make A Chat Bot For Your Site Or Business The difficulty with connecting with so many people across the world is time zones. You may want to be available to interact with your readership or to do business with potential clients, but at some... Read More are becoming more and more popular, and some companies, such as the Dutch airline KLM, are using them to run their customer service. It may not rise to the level of the Turing test What Is The Turing Test And Will It Ever Be Beaten? What Is The Turing Test And Will It Ever Be Beaten? The Turing Test is meant to determine whether machines think. Did the Eugene Goostman program truly pass the Turing test, or did the creators simply cheat? Read More (yet), but it is still early days yet.

bots

Ever since Mark Zuckerberg introduced chat bots at the recent Facebook Developer Conference, developers have been submitting their bots for Facebook approval. Right now, each bot has to be individually reviewed and approved by Facebook, so there are no spammy ones yet, similar to what you would find on Google Play.

Here are some of the more interesting ones. To get started, click on the link and then “Get Started” at the bottom. If there is no “Get Started” link, then typing “help” normally wakes the bot up and says something to you. Another interesting thing to note is that you can, by ticking the relevant boxes in each bot, block all sponsored messages and also temporarily mute all notifications.

CNN

cnn

They may be getting mocked (even by President Obama) for the low standard of their news coverage, but CNN is always showing their determination to innovate and embrace new technologies. So when Facebook chatbots were introduced, CNN wasted no time in getting their one out the door first.

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When you first start the bot, you are offered “Top stories”, “Stories for you” or “Ask CNN“. If you decide to choose one, you will get a summary each day in that area, and you can easily unsubscribe if the updates are starting to bother you. You can also enter keywords to be given the relevant information. For example, if you type “headlines“, CNN will give you the top headlines. If you type “politics“, you get the politics news. “Showbusiness” will get you the latest on who is sleeping with whom and who is getting checked into a drug rehab clinic. You get the idea.

Hello Jarvis

hellojarvis

Apple’s Siri 8 Things You Probably Didn’t Realize Siri Could Do 8 Things You Probably Didn’t Realize Siri Could Do Siri has become one of the iPhone’s defining features, but for many people, it’s not always the most useful. While some of this is due to the limitations of voice recognition, the oddity of using... Read More set off the craze for AI assistants on your smartphone, and Microsoft brought out Cortana How to Make Cortana Organize Your Life How to Make Cortana Organize Your Life Your life is so complex, you deserve a personal assistant. Meet Cortana, your virtual assistant ready to serve at the tip of your tongue. We'll show you how to effectively delegate tasks to Cortana. Read More for their phones and Windows 10. But developers have been trying to make bots that will integrate with your chat program to remind you to do certain things at certain times. Which is all very commendable but I think everyone’s hard work will be permanently eclipsed when Facebook finally brings out their own long-awaited AI assistant, entitled “M” (of course it is).

Hello Jarvis is a simple bot with one job — to remind you to do something at a certain time. So if you look at the screenshot above, you say “remind me to [insert task here] at [insert time here]”. Or you can say the time first then the task. Whatever. Jarvis is a clever owl. He understands what you are saying. Just don’t ask him where Hogwarts is. He doesn’t like that stereotype.

GymBot

gymbot

There seems to be a strange phenomenon where, if you need to exercise, you can’t be bothered and you go back to binge watching The Pros and Cons of Binge-Watching Television The Pros and Cons of Binge-Watching Television Binge-watching is a recent phenomenon that pretty much everybody has done thanks to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. But for all of its various pros, it does also have some cons. Read More Game of Thrones. But if you have a Fitbit on your wrist Take Your Exercise Routine to the Next Level With Fitbit and IFTTT Take Your Exercise Routine to the Next Level With Fitbit and IFTTT Here, we'll dig deeper into the many ways that Fitbit and IFTTT can work together to make your life better. Read More , or a smartphone app waiting for results, then suddenly you’re flying out the door in your Nike shorts, and humming “Eye of the Tiger”.

GymBot offers to be your stats keeper if you are a Facebook Messenger user. As you can see from the screenshot above, you need to send the stats in a certain format. It will then store the stats in its database, and you can view them at any time to monitor your progress. Sorry, but it doesn’t give any motivating pep talks.

Digg

digg

Digg was a force to be reckoned with Discover The Best Of The Web With The New Digg v1 Discover The Best Of The Web With The New Digg v1 Digg was such a huge hit that content creators actively tried to get their material linked to on the site in order to experience the huge increase in traffic, known as the Digg effect, that... Read More a decade ago, and then it just disappeared. Now it’s back, and the team are hard at work proving that Digg is a great place to be again. Every morning, I get Digg Editions sent to my email inbox, which contains a summary of the best Digg links. And their videos page is also excellent. Many people also love Digg Reader, although I was not too enamoured by it.

The Digg chatbot is a lot like the CNN chatbot, but with a kind of more relaxed layout. Typing “Trending” gets you the latest news, and if you type in keywords such as “tech”, “politics“, or “digg“, you will get the relevant sections instantly delivered to you.

Dinner Ideas

dinnerideas

Are you constantly stuck on what to make for dinner? Instead of heading to the freezer for that frozen pizza again, why not try the “Dinner Ideas” bot? After subscribing, you can choose to have one delicious recipe sent to you either every day or every week, or never. If you do choose to get the recipe, and you need it right now, you can just type “rotd” to get it immediately.

You can also send it a list of ingredients (say, what is in your fridge), and it will suggest recipes for you 4 Websites For Affordable Recipes That Won't Break the Bank 4 Websites For Affordable Recipes That Won't Break the Bank Want to save a few hundred dollars every month? Stop eating out and start cooking! By cooking for yourself, you eat healthier and save money, it could even become a fun and relaxing hobby. Read More . You can also tell it the name of something, such as “lasagne” and it will bring up what it thinks are the best lasagne recipes.

Assist

assist

“Assist” is another AI assistant, which will help you out with basic tasks. You can see the menu of things it can do for you, and you simply choose the task and follow the on-screen instructions. It will then presumably reach out to whichever service it is contracted with to get the task done. Obviously it is not free, so get ready to plonk some cash down.

The “Send a Letter” one is interesting. You can choose between a printed letter ($1.99) or a handwritten letter ($2.99). Although, the letter is restricted to 35 words, so you can’t send big steamy romantic letters to your other half. Not unless you write it in Haiku form YouTube Haikus: Short, Sweet And Absolutely Hysterical YouTube Haikus: Short, Sweet And Absolutely Hysterical Read More .

Fynd

fynd

Next in the “holding your hand” range of bots is Fynd, which is a shopping bot. Just say what you are looking for, and it starts scooting off all round the Internet looking for the best deals for you. The company is based in Mumbai, so this bot is probably only useful for Indian residents.

The bot initially suggests looking for “Nike shoes for men”. Being really awkward, I instead opted for “Adidas shoes for men” and moments later, I got some hits. If you choose one, it takes you to the Fynd website, where you can buy them and have them sent out. The bot is basically a mobile form of their website, but is still good if you are standing in the middle of a store, and you need a quick price comparison. Pity it is only confined to India, though.

Kukie

kukie

It is said that everyone has at least one start-up 5 Web Apps for the Online Business Startup 5 Web Apps for the Online Business Startup If you are a businessperson looking to make it big, then the Internet is your friend. It gives you a global audience. It also provides you with a multitude of tools Read More idea in them. But for some people, that idea is proving elusive (I’m convinced my million dollar idea is in me someplace). Kukie is a really useful bot which gives you startup ideas, as well as resources for starting a startup business, or resources if you are already running something.

As well as startup ideas How to Turn Your Passion into a Startup: 7 Tools to Help You Do It How to Turn Your Passion into a Startup: 7 Tools to Help You Do It Whether you dream of turning your talent for baking, graphic design or programming into a full-time job, technology makes it easier than ever to transform your dream into a profitable company. Read More , it helps with names, logos, domains, marketing, and much more. If you are thinking of starting a business, or are running one that could use a bit of improvement, then Kukie may be what you need to spark the old brain cells.

Air Meekan

airmeekan

Running an airline is extremely competitive, especially with all the budget airlines out there, such as “Wing and a Prayer”, “Toilets R Extra”, and “Standing Room Only”. So cheap fares abound 5 Rules To Finding Cheap Airline Flight Tickets 5 Rules To Finding Cheap Airline Flight Tickets Who says you can’t fly for cheap? Sometimes it comes down to whether or not you click the right links, search the right terms, or pick the right times to search the web. Read More , but quite often they are hard to find. After all, the airlines do want you flying full fare whenever possible.

Flight search services abound on the Internet, but now the practise is spreading to chatbots. With Air Meekan, you tell it from where you are going to where you want to go. Then when you want to leave and when you want to return. The screenshot above shows how Air Meekan responded when I asked for a return ticket from New York to Moscow, returning in a month. Thankfully it didn’t suggest Aeroflot.

If you see a price that appeals to you, just tap on it and you will be taken to the partner website where you can book your travel.

Wall Street Journal

wallstreetjournal

We end with the Wall Street Journal, which is good for all of you who watch the stock markets 5 Stock Market Games That'll Teach You How to Make Money 5 Stock Market Games That'll Teach You How to Make Money Before you dive into the stock market with real money, you should get yourself acquainted by spending time on some simulators. Here are 5 of the best. Read More carefully every day. Entering a company will give you its current share price, and whether the stock is rising or falling How to Start Investing in Stocks Even if You're a Total Beginner How to Start Investing in Stocks Even if You're a Total Beginner Entering the world of investing isn't easy, but thanks to new algorithm-based online tools you can get involved even if you're a beginner. Here are six of the best. Read More . You can also opt to see the financial news headlines.

Which Messenger Bots Do You Use?

New bots are slowly trickling in for Messenger, as Facebook approves them. But I’m sure that pretty soon, that review process will be sped up, and we will start to see a wide variety of useful bots in different areas. Burger King, eBay, and Bank of America are reportedly about to bring out their own bots. Get ready to order your burgers, bid for an item, and pay your bills all on Facebook Messenger.

Do you use these bots? What do you think of them? If you use a different Facebook Messenger bot, tell us about it in the comments below.

Image Credits:robot holding smartphone by Willyam Bradberry via Shutterstock

  1. John
    November 19, 2016 at 3:35 am

    I regularly use My Playlist Finder myplaylistfinder.com

  2. Sravan
    August 24, 2016 at 6:00 am

    Greetings, I'm the developer of English-Hindi Dictionary bot and Expert news bot. The main agenda behind developing these bot was to help people learn Hindi and provide services for a hassle free experience to get the daily news updates in hindi language. We are working towards providing services as such in different languages. Bot evolution is a great break through in the field of AI which would lead us to a world of bots.

  3. kaushik
    August 23, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    Try "TagOpp" bot career coaching and suggestions. Great one.

  4. Anish Nahar
    August 15, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    Hello everyone! Great list of bots.

    I am a maker of Pokemon based quiz bot game where user has to guess the right Pokemon from 3 options by looking at the Pokemon's description. It is a fun, addictive and easy to play game. Would be great if you could review it as well.

    You can find the bot on m/me/pokedexquiz

  5. Aakanksha Gaur
    July 18, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Hello Mark,

    This is a fantastic list. I use CNN and TechCrunch bot everyday. Me and my 3 person team also launched a book recommendation Facebook bot 6 days back that climbed to #1 on ProductHunt. We deliver hand-curated book recommendations to our hundreds of users.

    The bot is available at http://www.messenger.com/t/shelfjoy

  6. Leo
    July 18, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Hey! Thanks for this awesome list of chatbots. Usiing Digg bot often. I'm one of the makers of PennyCat (m.me/pennycatbot or pennycat.co). Very funny cat-bot that includes some games and allows you to save money, it scans the internet for discount codes for online stores. It was featured by Facebook twice.

    Would be amazing if you can review it :)

    Thanks in advance, @makeuseof!

  7. Rishabh Bose
    July 18, 2016 at 8:52 am

    Hello everyone, I'm the maker of Kukie. Each Bot you see is made with a lot of hardwork and infinite feedback. With constant iteration and constant improvements in AI, Chatbots can finally become much more reliant. Thanks for featuring us @makeuseof and we will work on building better Bots. Cheers.

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