Line wants you to build chatbots

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Depending on where you are, you may not have heard of Line. But it’s one of the biggest messaging apps out there and it wants you to build chatbots. Line boasts 218 million monthly active users and is very popular in Asia. In fact, two-thirds of its users come from Japan, Thailand, and Indonesia. It’s on a plethora of platforms too.

Line is one of Asia's largest social networks and it wants your chatbots (Image credits:  Android Pit)
Line is one of Asia’s largest social networks and it wants your chatbots (Image credits: Android Pit)

Originally it was only available on Android and iOS. Now you can also find it on PC’s, Mac’s, Windows Phones, Blackberry OS, Firefox OS, Google Chrome and even Nokia Asha’s! Needless to say, Line is big and it’s in fierce constant competition with the likes of Whatsapp, Viber, and Messenger. And like many of its competitors, it too supports chatbots.

The South Korean company originally, opened the platform to developers for building chatbots in April. However, it limited the number of chatbots to 10,000. It didn’t help that it was on a first come first serve basis. Subsequently, the number was increased to 20,000. But now, Line is changing its game. It has announced a new Messaging API. The purpose of this is to give developers easier ways to build chatbots. It also introduces three new types of messages for chatbots. These new types of messages are:

  • Confirm type: Allows you to select one of two choices
  • Button type: Combines pictures, text, and other action buttons
  • Carousel type: Similar to the button type but with more content
Line's new chatbots (Image credits: TechCrunch)
Line’s new chatbots (Image credits: TechCrunch)

Additionally, the company also announced that its bots now work on group chats as well. But to prove they were really serious about chatbots, Line announced a competition. The deadline to apply for this competition is January 2017. The winners will be announced in February 2017. The winners will walk away with $98,000. Line also mentioned that it will have prizes for other categories.

So if you’re interested in taking part in the competition, keep an eye on the official website. Line may not be as popular in Sri Lanka as it is in the rest of Asia. But, if you have an idea for chatbot that you think could work regionally, this competition might be the perfect place to find out.

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