Chatbots Magazine Become a Writer Intro to Chatbots

Pros/Cons: Using platforms like Facebook slack vs chabot own application

(christine.grove) #1


I was wondering what others thought about using platforms like Facebook slack for chatbots vs a chabot using its own application downloaded from app store? What are the pros or cons?

I am leaning towards the bot having its own app at this stage but not sure why.

Is this more about features/functions, costs and maybe its inconvenient to have to download another app?


(Thomas Kapp) #2

In my opinion the big advantage of building a chatbot is that it can live in an environment where the user already is. So if I am already in Facebook/Slack/Telegram and the likes, a chatbot is something I’d consider using as I am around anyway.

If a chatbot is added to an app I am using anyway, that’s also perfectly fine as it adds the convenience of a conversational interface to this app. However, having to install an app to use a chatbot would require this particular chatbot to be very, very useful. An example is the shopping assitant Mona, but not many others come to my mind.

So in summary: I think it’s about going to where the user is to add value with a chatbot. Add features, cost and the inconvenience to install yet another app :wink:

(Vik Kimyani) #3

Thomas sums it up nicely, having an app specifically for a chatbot means that it has to be very very compelling given that the numbers of apps being installed is declining and users are increasingly less likely to install apps, there is some research available to back that up.

(christine.grove) #4

yes these are all good points thank you for responding it helps to read others perspectives and opinions

I am thinking of a mental health chatbot interacting with young people - ethical boards wont approve youth providing social media sites with their personal health information - effectively in the hands of the company who have access to the data (rather than being stored confidentially).

I agree with the feasibility of using FB, Slack etc. for a chatbot. maybe a website based chatbot but still then would need to open the weblink to access

(Thomas Kapp) #5

I didn’t have your use case in mind obviously. Privacy certainly is an issue in this case, and a good reason to have the chatbot live outside existing platforms.
To chat about probably the most private of private things (mental health) is, as Vik put it, a very very compelling reason to install an app in my opinion.

(Vik Kimyani) #6

You have a different problem if your target is the youth category, they don’t use FB and even less likely to install apps. Would be interested to see what your approach ends up being and whether it actually works!

Also in the case of data privacy, with chat you could mandate only channels with end-to-end encryption can be used but now you’ve got very limited options. In Asia you would be fine as you’d just use WeChat or Line with no problem. I know one health authority in London is taking the website and app approach and that kind of makes sense as they offer not just chat but control of patient data, appointment management etc In fact I don’t think they chat is ready yet :slight_smile: