This year, Madagascar had the chance to host the first edition of the Messenger Bot Party. This important event in the technology sphere was held on March 4, 2017, from 2-5pm at the Panorama Hotel. The Messenger Bot Party took place simultaneously in more than 16 countries. As for the participants, they were about 1500 from Nigeria, South Africa and Rwanda. This adventure took place in collaboration with major partners such as Orange Madagascar and Azimuts. More than 150 of the most experienced developers attended the information sessions.
Messenger is the second most used application in the world, Facebook, its owner, being the first. It allows 50 million businesses and just over 900 million people to communicate with their family, colleagues and friends.
Some important numbers for Facebook in 2016:
- 1.86 billion monthly active users
- 1.23 billion daily active users
- 1.74 billion active users per month, from their Smartphone
- 1.15 billion active users per day, from their Smartphone
The 2 billion users per month mark is expected to be reached and surpassed during 2017.
Since 2016, “bots” (short for robot) have been ubiquitous on this platform. Indeed, the latter give Messenger users the possibility to access automated subscriptions, as well as to receive personalized notifications when a package is received for example. This software allows you to perform specific tasks and simulate conversations through the “Chat-bot” keyboard. According to Mark Zuckerberg (founder and boss of Facebook), this gives users the ability to access multiple services on a single platform.
“Madagascar has its card to play and technology is not the monopoly of any country. Our biggest advantage lies in this new generation that spends most of its time on Facebook. They would not have the idea of visiting web pages, so bots are becoming a medium to facilitate and accelerate this jump,” said Harinjaka Ratozamanana, organizer of the Messenger Bot Party.
“Initiating this new digitalized consumer service on a messaging platform can be an exciting, but also challenging step. It will allow Madagascar to prepare for a new shift in digital and sales solutions. Implementing conversational agents to reduce consumer effort and increase the speed with which they interact is not as difficult as you might think,” said David Andriamasy, Facebook Bot Party tech lead.
Here is a picture of the winning team of this session. The three winners have created a bot called “Intello” which aims to help find tips in games.