theScore’s sports chatbot launches on Facebook Messenger

Canadian sports media company theScore has just launched a chatbot that will keep users up to date on all the news from their favourite teams. The company, which has a strong Facebook following of 2.7 million, was an official messenger partner at Facebook’s bot-focused F8 2016 developer conference.

“We see bots as the next phase of evolution in the way we consume media on mobile devices, allowing our brand to extend its reach and interact with Messenger’s massive user base,” said John Levy, CEO and founder of theScore in a statement issued to MobileSyrup. “We’re extremely excited to be one of the first sports media companies in the world to create a bot for Messenger.” 

To access the bot, sports fans can go to theScore’s Facebook page and send it a message, or search for “theScore” in their messenger app. Users must then set it up by informing the bot what their favourite teams are. From then on, theScore will send them information such as game start and end, scores and any other breaking news.

thescorebot

Currently, the bot is only available for one-on-one chat, but in the future theScore is hoping to make it so that users can summon the chatbot in to group conversations as well.

“Over time, we’ll be iterating to make it more conversational and improving the AI,” said Riaz Lalani, theScore’s vice-president of product, in an earlier interview with MobileSyrup.

But will it overtake the popularity of theScore’s app? Lalani wasn’t sure.

“The truth is that we don’t yet know how significant a development this will be and what the adoption of bots will look like a year from now – it’s very, very early. What we do know is that messaging platforms in general are growing fast and are estimated to reach two billion people by 2018.”

Related reading: Google’s new Allo app wants to turn us all into chatbots

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