Five months after Mark Zuckerberg announced that developers would be able to access a Messenger platform that will allow them to create bots and there are thousands available. My favorites are beer delivery, the ability to chat with anybody in the world, and a bot that automatically unfollows your Twitter followers if they unfollow you. There many, many more and this is a review of some of the best.
A diagnostic bot, HealthTap will send recommendations from doctors or articles based on symptoms you send to the bot via messenger. The bot, and the company, come pretty close to suggesting it can replace the initial doctor visit which is usually limited to a description of symptoms followed by a diagnosis or suggested next steps. However, after sending your initial query, you are first presented with brief terms stating that you understand the answers are informational and not medical advice. The best feature is the ability to get an actual response from a doctor, if you don’t mind waiting a couple of days, and a premium service for $25.
For frequent travelers, the Kayak bot is pretty neat, especially if you booked your trip through Kayak and have an account. If you are just starting your search for a hotel or flight, you can tell the Kayak bot where you want to go then it will ask a few questions and send you recommendations based on your preferences. The best thing is that you can start pretty general. The bot even suggests as an example query, “where can I go for 500 dollars?” If you have a Kayak account, you can receive your itinerary and any changes through messenger.
Hello Jarvis is a simple but effective personal assistance. You chat with Jarvis, an owl and after typing the name of your city, Jarvis sets your time zone and then he’s ready to work. It’s best to keep your requests to the most basic and perhaps in the very near future. I asked Jarvis to remind me to get my oil changed in a week and it set a reminder for 12:00 AM. Still handy perhaps because I would wake up to the reminder but I would be irritated if my phone woke me up at midnight. Reminding myself to call mom after work is better because it sets a more realistic time of 5:00 PM that same day.
As ridiculous as they can be at times, memes can come in handy and if you want to be specific with your message, it can be a bit of a challenge finding just the right picture. However, the MemeGenerator Bot has that part under control. All you need to do is supply the text and the bot will provide a picture complete with your clever phrase. MemeGenerator Bot even supplies an image which is ready to be downloaded and shared or forwarded via Messenger.
Alex WikiMessenger gets an honorable mention as a bot that provides a shortcut to Wikipedia articles. Many of these can be accomplished via a Google search but the convenience of having the functionality in Messenger is the bonus. Stay tuned as new bots are being added daily!