Yahoo announced yesterday that it launched four bots for Facebook Messenger that users of the messaging application can interact with.
The bots, exclusively available for Android and iOS versions of Facebook Messenger, bring finance, news, weather and, ehm, monkeys, to Facebook Messenger.
The first three bots, bring Yahoo Finance, Yahoo News and Yahoo Weather to Facebook Messenger. They pretty much work as you expect them to work.
Message them to get started, for instance about today's market, what's trending, or the weather in New York.
You get an answer right away from the bot, and may also get additional links to information or options.
Yahoo Facebook Messenger bots
The finance bot for instance lets you set up price alerts and notifications, and the news app look up related news and read summaries.
The Weather application supports caption and share functionality. Caption lets you add text to a weather report before you share it with other users on Facebook Messenger.
Monkeys is a completely different
beast bot. It seems aimed at kids, as you interact with it by sending emojis. Different emojis help the monkey perform various activities such as eating, traveling to exotic places, or sending you pics.
To get started, all you have to do is message @YahooFinance, @YahooNews, @YahooWeather or @MonkeyPet on Facebook Messenger.
It is interesting to note that the bots are not available on other platforms -- Web, Windows -- that Facebook Messenger is available on. This might change in the future but Yahoo made no statement about it.
Usefulness of bots
Yahoo's bots, lets put the monkey bot aside for a moment, offer more than just information. If they would just return information, their use would probably be limited. You could as well use a weather, finance or news app on your mobile device, or use a web browser to look up information you are interested in.
The bots provide more functionality than that, and this is probably their greatest strength. While those extra features may not be useful to all, the caption and share feature of the weather app is probably the weakest, the price alert feature of the finance app the strongest, it may be useful to some.
If you spend a lot of time connected to Facebook Messenger, then this may very well be a better option to retrieve news and information provided by these bots.
The bots use Messengers notification system just like any other chat partner. This means that you won't miss out on information even if Facebook Messenger is not open all the time.
Now You: What's your take on the first generation of Yahoo's bots for Facebook Messenger?