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It's A Bot Time You Don't Have To Answer 4 a.m. Work Texts

Kids messaging app Kik has just beat Facebook in developing a "bot" platform that can send automatic, pre-programmed text responses using words, videos and .gifs. The kids love this stuff. Now the question is, how can future workplaces take advantage of texting bots, too?

The Kik Bot Shop offers "mini-apps" that users can sign up for (for example, a bot that automatically inserts Vine videos into relevant text chats). Big companies are getting in on the bot development action, too. Microsoft and of course, Facebook.

This is Texting 2.0, folks. As Kik's Mike Roberts told reporter Martin Bryant of The Next Web: "Messengers are the new browsers and bots are the new websites." If you're not using them this way, then you're missing out on new marketing, branding and communication opportunities. From Bryant's Next Web article:

Given the explosion in the popularity of bots, the time to shine has come companies that specialize in their development. But Eyal Pfeifel, CTO at Imperson – the company that built the Miss Piggy bot for Facebook Messenger last year, among other brand tie-ins – points out that bots have been around for over 20 years.

"Bots aren't suddenly much more advanced than they were in recent years," says Pfeifel. He points out that as people increasingly move their communication to messaging apps, bots are coming into play as an efficient and powerful way of allowing companies as a way of converse with or entertain lots of people.

Here's a thought: How about bot platforms as a way to pre-program our future 10 p.m. "reminder" work texts before we even leave the office? This way, we don't have to do it when we get home.

Imagine the possibilities if employees could use bot platforms to automatically send, and automatically respond to, their co-worker's "urgent" texts. If you're expecting a text from a work colleague and you pretty much know what they're going to say, then you could set up an automatic response in advance.

As these systems evolve, we could send a reply that's highly tailored to our co-worker's message. For example, if your colleague writes "the project is a go" then your automatic text could be: "Great, let's plan on a 2 p.m. meeting tomorrow to discuss." While you're watching your favorite TV show.

Once the kinks are worked out, workplace messaging bots could revolutionize the modern workplace just like voice mail. Most of all, pre-programmed work texts could be our long overdue response to a work culture where many employees are electronically tethered to their jobs 24/7. Message: enough, we need some damn downtime.

Go ahead, let the call go to voice mail by letting your future messaging bot send an automatic text reply! You can follow up in 20 minutes if necessary, after you've read a bedtime story to your kids. Sounds good to me.


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