With so many different messaging platforms, it can be difficult to choose the right platform for your bot. Each has their pros and cons; you shouldn’t be asking which chatbot platform is best, but rather which chatbot platform is best for you and your needs. This is because different chatbot platforms privilege different features and demographics.
When choosing a platform for your bot, you should ask yourself:
- Who is my audience? How old are they? Where are they?
- Do I need an open-source platform?
- What features do I want my bot to utilize—HTML5, video, something else?
- What is my bot’s purpose?
Once you have answered these questions, you’re ready to dig into each platform’s strengths and see what’s right for you. Here’s a chatbot platform comparison that highlights what makes each one unique.
Which Chatbot Platform to Start?
When it comes to userbase, no one beats Facebook Messenger: the service boasts an impressive 1.2 billion monthly active users. This makes it an obvious chatbot platform for those who want to make their bot available to the widest amount of people. If your brand already operates a Facebook fan page, you can have the Messenger bot answer queries from fans when they message the page. Therefore, brands that focus heavily on Facebook in their social media strategies will want a bot for the platform.
Because Slack is primarily a platform for digital workspaces, its users love apps and bots that can help them work faster and more efficiently. If your bot fills the productivity niche, you can bet that it’ll find a hope on this platform—but just-for-fun bots that thrive in group chats can go far here, too. Slack recently published a guide to help botmakers make the most of the platform, so it’s easy to get started.
While Viber jumped on the chatbot platform bandwagon a little later than competitors, its open-source AI makes it incredibly accessible and attractive to bootmakers. The service, from global shopping giant Rakuten, is positioned to help businesses better connect with their customers. The platform is a natural fit for ecommerce brands.
Often ahead of the technological curve, Telegram is used by many thanks to its encryption and focus on security. This service also offers an open-source API for developers. One notable Telegram feature is that it offers HTML5-rich experiences, giving you greater functionality for your bot. This is important for entertainment and media-rich bots (game chatbots, for example). Want some examples? Check our favorite Telegram bots here.
Kik is incredibly popular with teens and young adults, making it one of the best chatbot platforms if your bot is tailored to a younger audience. Kik’s best feature is its usability: with a button interface within the keyboard itself, users spend more type tapping than typing when chatting with a bot, letting conversations happen quickly. If you want to build a Kik bot, check out our tips.
Lots of users are on Skype, which comes preinstalled on Windows devices. It’s also one of the premier video chatting services; this is the only in our chatbot platform comparison that lets users add chatbots to their video calls. Another big benefit is that Skype chats are easily embeddable onto web pages, so you can place your bot anywhere on the internet that you’d like.
WeChat was the chatbot platform before other messaging services offered them. The huge Chinese service has over 938 million monthly active users, many of whom are already accustomed to chatting with bots. If your brand is focused on an Asian audience, you’ll want to tap into WeChat’s userbase.
Another big platform from Asia, Line is a great choice for brands and businesses with an international audience. Like other services, it allows for one-on-one and group discussion. It boasts more stickers than any other service, allowing you to be incredibly expressive with brevity. Line also offers different message types for better engagement—for example, a carousel view providing a detailed look at different options a user to choose from.
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