#BotTO returns to predict the future of chat bots with Kik and Shopify keynotes


Between Facebook unveiling a Messenger platform for retailers that allows them to create chat bots and Microsoft laying out its vision for how its products can augment the chat bot experience, it’s clear that this is where the tech future lies.

And #BotTO, one of Toronto’s latest tech events, is doing its part to help the city’s tech enthusiasts and developers stay up-to-date on the bot landscape. On Thursday, April 21, #BotTO — organized by Tiny Hearts — is hosting their second meetup at Toronto’s Shopify headquarters. The event will include speakers from Kik, which recently unveiled its bot store, and Shopify.

“The bot and messaging space is still nascent and it’s anyone’s guess what directions the developer and market forces will take it. We hope the attendees of #BotTO will be inspired to explore where these new platforms can be taken. More importantly, to connect and learn from each other’s experiments,” said Robleh Jama, founder and CEO of Tiny Hearts.

Tiny Hearts has been exploring the messaging space since 2014, when it developed the Next Keyboard. The Next keyboard was made possible thanks to a Kickstarter which managed to surpass the original $10,000 funding goal by $55,0000, and a passionate community of 10,000 iOS developers. Since then, the team has learned the value of engaging communities when it comes to tech innovation.

“We knew from experience that a majority of our attention on mobile is going towards messaging apps. Bots are a more direct way to build products for messaging platforms. With the steady rise of Conversational Commerce over the last year, its clear that we are in a new shift in tech,” said Jama. “Every new technology platform needs to have a dedicated group of people interested and willing to share their experience with it. Instead of waiting for someone else to build a community around this topic, we just took it upon ourselves.”

To join the #BotTO community and sign up for the event, check out the official meetup page.

Photo courtesy Robleh Jama

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Freelance tech writer. Former BetaKit News Editor.

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