Through the history of the Internet, we’ve seen a bots of all flavors (scrapers, viruses, worms), all often giving bots a bad name. They’re small bits of code that can carry out a host of malicious actions–stealing web content, screwing up web analytics, and encouraging click fraud.
This all sounds pretty dire, but more recently, the concept of bots has been harnessed for more and more good. And one of its new and improved forms is conversational SMS bots.
But what precipitated their rise? Well, there’s a whole movement spawning from the concept that “You don’t need an app for that.” Back in 2013, South African technology writer and TED speaker Toby Shapshak gave a talk extolling the virtues of mobile, calling it “the gold of today,” and highlighting how Africans are using SMS in particular to innovate and solve problems.
Want to learn how to get the most milk from your cow? Join iCow’s texting program. Want to use SMS for mobile commerce? Try M-PESA. It’s so powerful, in fact, that as Shapshak explains:
“Something like 25 million dollars a day is transacted through M-Pesa. Forty percent of Kenya’s GDP moves through M-Pesa using [feature phones].”
It seems like now the U.S. is finally catching up with Africa on the use of SMS for business, putting its own Silicon Valley, bot-powered spin on things. TechCrunch even cited 2016 as the year of the chat bot, citing conversational SMS bot Assist. Assist lets you text in for a variety of different tasks–getting a ride, sending flowers, ordering food, etc. It seems simple enough, but this company has taken Silicon Valley by storm, drawing in over $5.5 million in seed funding.
So, similar to during the great American gold rush, if you’re going jump on this wave and contribute an awesome conversational SMS bot to the business world or to consumers, you’ll need the right tools. Maybe you can code and have time, or maybe you can code but don’t have time. More likely, you’re part of the majority that can’t code and doesn’t have time. Either way, here’s an off-the shelf tool that will make your SMS-bot-dreams suddenly more real. Wait, “SMS bot-dreams”? Did we just make up a new term?
OneReach has created the perfect tool for this important moment, wherein the world is harnessing bots for good – conversational bots that help businesses and consumers to get what they need. We’ve created software that makes it easy, fast and affordable for anyone to create conversational phone or SMS bots that can do almost anything – it all comes down to what you program them to do. And the best part is that no coding is required and it’s all automatically reportable (sounds like a lie, I know). So when I say anyone can create their own conversational SMS or voice app, I really mean it.
Bots are hot and they’re where the communication conversation is heading this year. Whether you’re replacing a mobile app with clever automated SMS, or putting automated (or live) SMS concierge service in place for a boutique hotel, OneReach just made it way easier to create your SMS bot.
If you’ve got “SMS bot dreams” – simple or complex – I’d love to take on the challenge of seeing how easy OneReach makes it to bring your vision to life.
To learn more about adding texting to your business, download our whitepaper here.
Image of gold iPhone courtesy of Picjumbo. CC0 License. Edited