Kik Interactive has opened its platform to third-party developers with the launch of the Bot Shop, the company said.
Bots provide a low-friction way of delivering fun, engaging, and useful services through chat. Now anyone can build a bot for Kik, which has more than 275 million registered users. Approximately 40 percent of US teens use the app.
Kik´s Bot Shop is launching with three categories — entertainment, lifestyle, and games — and 16 bots, including Funny Or Die, H&M, J-14, Riffsy, Sephora, Vine, and The Weather Channel. Kik has also named three launch partners — imperson, Massively, and Sequel — that will be tasked with helping developers and companies build bots. Kik is inviting all developers to start making bots via its bot API, available at dev.kik.com.
The arrival of Kik´s Bot Shop comes amid a series of consumer Internet trends that suggest the time is ripe for chat bots. In 2015, 1.4 billion people used a chat app, according to eMarketer. At the same time, people have stopped downloading new apps in large numbers. More than 70 percent of US total smartphone app usage comes from just 200 apps, according to a June 2015 report by Nielsen. And a late 2014 study by Comscore found that that two-thirds of smartphone users downloaded zero apps in the last month.
To coincide with the Bot Shop launch, Kik will release three new chat bots features: web bubbles (“wubbles”) for sharing rich media content in conversation threads; suggested responses to help expedite text input; and a mention feature that allows bots to participate in conversation threads involving multiple parties, including groups.
The Bot Shop is a platform for third-party developers to build bots on Kik. Bots provide a low-friction way of delivering fun, engaging, and useful services through chat, and give developers the opportunity to reach Kik´s 275 million registered users.
Founded in 2009, Kik Interactive, Inc. is headquartered in Waterloo, with offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Toronto.