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Outbrain launches chat bots on Telegram, Kik and Slack


Online content discovery platform Outbrain has launched “Outbrain for Chat,” a service that enables any publisher to launch applications or content bots across the leading Messaging platforms. A report by Forbes points out that the the service is already on Telegram, Kik and Slack and eventually will make its way to Facebook Messenger.

Earlier this month, TechCrunch launched an artificial intelligence news bot Telegram, powered by Chatfuel. Telegram seems to have a host of bots built for it, one from Engadget as well. A Wired story from October 2015 highlights the number of publications using bots to generate news. Meanwhile, in India, media startup FactorDaily also employs a news bot called Regina, which stores links shared in Slack and can apparently crack Star Wars jokes.

Outbrain’s chat bots are dynamic and learns over time, present users with the latest news and stories, based on an individual’s Interest Graph. Users can view, save for later or read the articles within the messaging app, plus much more.

MediaNama’s take

It seems that news publishing via chat bots will become more widespread. But it remains crucial that messaging platforms open up their APIs for the same to allow news agencies to sign up. Also there should be a way to control the news coming in through the chat bot to prevent spamming information. WhatsApp had mentioned that it would be changing its business model and removing the annual subscription fee. WhatsApp said users could directly chat with businesses. It remains to be seen what WhatsApp’s plans are and if it would focus on publishing news.

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Earlier this month,  BBC News used chat applications Viber and WhatsApp to promote its documentaries. But publishing on WhatsApp remains limited as it allows only 256 people per broadcast channel. When that limit is reached, the publisher has to create a new channel for new users to subscribe to. Effectively, the publisher will have to duplicate the publishing process across multiple channels.

Outbrain in India

– In July 2015, Outbrain signed a multi-year partnership with India.com.The deal would also cover India.com’s other online properties such as eenews.com, dnaindia.com, Bollywoodlife.com, Cricketcountry.com, OnCars.in,Prepsure.com, BGR.in, Careerfundas.com, TheHealthSite.com, Travel.india.com and Video.india.com.

-In June 2015, Outbrain renewed its its partnership with Network18, and brought on board a number of other Indian publications including Indian Express, ABP Live, Financial Express, MTV India (Viacom), ScoopWhoop, Sanjeev Kapoor, StoryPick, MissMalini, and fossBytes.

-In March 2015, Outbrain had signed a multi-year strategic partnership with Times Internet to offer personalized content recommendations to readers on the latter’s online properties including The Times of India, The Economic Times and Indiatimes.

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