One of the key highlights of the Facebook’s developer-centered F8 conference last year was the arrival of bots on its Messenger platform. Messenger bots, as demoed back then, could be used to do anything from hailing an Uber, checking in to an airline, shopping to delivering news content.
Nearly a year since its unveiling, the Messenger bots ecosystem has grown and Facebook, as of the last reporting, had managed to enable payments for over 30,000 bots.
However, while interaction with Messenger bots is global, the services most Messenger bots are meant to facilitate are mostly limited to certain markets. This is why Facebook has announced the beginning of a new competition meant to get developers in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region to create Messenger bots that mainly focus on and address local challenges.
According to a statement from the company, “the Bots for Messenger Challenge is a contest to recognise and reward developers who are able to create the most innovative new bots on Messenger.”
“Developers, in teams of up to three people, are invited to create bots in three categories: gaming and entertainment; productivity and utility; and social good.”
Winners stand to walk away with several prizes ranging from cash and access to mentorship programs to devices like the Samsung Gear VR (which is made in collaboration with Oculus which is owned by Facebook).
With Messenger boasting of having over 1 billion users every month, it presents a huge opportunity for developers looking to reach a wider audience with their apps and services.
Are you a developer in this region? You can register for the challenge and find more details about it here.