One of the main downsides to chatbots is their lack of practical functionality.
Don’t get me wrong, I love chatting with AIs, but it gets old eventually. After all, how long can you chat with something that replies to half of your statements or requests with “I don’t understand”?
That’s why a bot like Postcard Bot is refreshing — not only does it have a practical purpose, but that purpose addresses a significant real-life issue that is ideally solved by a messaging platform: it helps you shoot off super quick postcards.
Postcards have long been a thorn in my side. I love the idea of sending them to my family and friends while I’m travelling, but due to the general whirlwind of activity that occurs with vacations I never actually make it to the post box. Often, at the end of my trips I’m left with a handful of filled-out postcards that have been rendered useless by the delay.
With Postcard Bot, you can upload a picture to the bot from your phone, write out the message for the back and enter the address all through conversation. The bot then sends you a mock-up of the postcard and asks you to give your stamp of approval. Once you do, it provides you with a link to pay $2.99 USD postage with your credit card. If you’ve already logged your credit card with the site, it will simply ask in the chat whether you’d like to charge the card it has on file by replying “yes.” At the end of the process, you’ve crafted your own custom postcard, written it and sent it in mere minutes. Now that’s practical.
The Postcard Bot is available through Facebook Messenger and SMS (find the number here).
Postcard image credit: Zach Gilbert