The surprising case sudy of a news sender chatbot
Back in March of 2020 in the beginning of the covid pandemic, there were news and informations about the virus all over the world, and everyone wanted to know all the info available instantly.

I was thinking about a better way to get these informations. An automated solutions. Since Botsflow was right in front of me, I thought why couldn't I use a chatbot as an automatic information sender 🤖

After all chatbots are a great way to get information. So I decided to create a news chatbot for Messenger.

Types of news sender chatbots

When you are creating a news sender chatbot the first challenge is to have the content you would like to send to your users. There are two ways of doing this:

  • Automatic
  • Manual

The problem with automatic information gathering is that even the smartest algorithms makes mistakes some times, and it is not obvious how to use these. The manual approach is reliable, precise, and well sorted. However it is obviously a very overwhelming task to collect all the information manually.

I was not afraid of the hard work, and wanted to provide the best experience for my users, so I chose the manual way.
This means I had to read all the information about Covid-19 and copy the links of the most interesting and most informative ones.

Implementation

Botsflow offers sending broadcast messages, which means you only have to click on one button and you can send the content to all users ever contacted your chatbot. This is a killer feature if you would like to build a news sender chatbot. And the best is that Botsflow offers this functionality in the free tier.
With this feature it was obvious how to implement the chatbot.
I used the workflow editor to create a small automated conversation where I informed the user about the functionality of this chatbot, and asked for permission to send the news, which he or she can cancel any time from the chatbot menu.

News sending

I did not wanted to send too much message, so I decided to send only the most important articles about 3 times a day. One in the morning, one at about noon, and one at about 6 p.m.

Expriences

The first surprise for me was that about 20% of the people thought they are texting with a real person and tried to asked general questions.

People loved to use the Feedback option, and 90% of them gave a positive feedback.

However people only wanted to know information about their small neighborhood, and they did not care about the bigger picture. I almost always got some sort of negative feedback when I shared information about the whole world. It seems people only care about themselves 😊

Some people get annoyed because the did not understand how they can unsubsribe, and stop the messages, so I had to do it for them.

Others wanted to have information more frequently

Final thoughts

After a few months of experimenting I had to stop sending the news, because it became too time consuming, but if I can find a way to automate the whole process, I will continue proividing the most important news for free 😊 .

Do you have any experience with news sending chatbots?

Would you consider using one, or would you build one for yourself? If you use Botsflow it is really easy.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me any time.