VentureBeat’s Bots Channel tracks all the important and interesting news related to the exploding field of bots and messaging. And each week we select the top stories and present them in in our free weekly newsletter, BotBeat. We include news stories by VentureBeat staff, guest articles from leading figures in the bots community and a good number of posts from a wide variety of outlets. You can subscribe to our BotBeat newsletter to receive this information in your inbox every Thursday.

Here’s this week’s newsletter:

Alexa will now accept orders for tens of millions of Amazon items, and as we reported last week, there are now more than 11,000 bots, a review system, and more new features on the Facebook Messenger platform.

A chatbot by any other name? The bot startup community is divided about what to call their creations: chatbots, bots or something else. In a guest post, AppZen CEO Anant Kale argues that chatbots should be renamed intelligent assistants. And this post examines the future of bots and Apple’s choice to take a different road than most other tech giants.

We continue our exploration of interesting bots you may or may not have heard of — and the surprising ways people interact with them. We uncovered the kinds of things people tell a prayer bot, and there is now a gymbot. There’s a new bot that connects anonymous people on Facebook Messenger, but its creator is taking measures to avoid becoming like the oh-so-sexually-explicit Chatroulette.

We’re days from the start of MobileBeat, our conference devoted to bots and A.I. being held July 12-13 at The Village in San Francisco. Tickets are nearly sold out, so click over there now if you want to attend .

Also, there’s one day left to enter VentureBeat’s international botathon to compete against participants from Tel Aviv, New York, San Francisco, and Melbourne.

Remember to follow #MobileBeat in social media next week.

From the VentureBeat Bots channel

Apple’s unexpected approach to bots

At betaworks, we are very excited about the opportunities conversational interfaces offer for building new kinds of products, services, distribution channels and user experiences.

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Facebook Messenger now has 11,000 chatbots for you to try

Facebook today release new statistics on the growth of chatbots on its Messenger app and announced new features related to chatbots.

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Bot that’s like Chatroulette for Facebook Messenger hits 250,000 users in 3 weeks

Chatible, a bot that randomly connects anonymous Facebook Messenger users, has surpassed 250,000 users since its debut three weeks ago, according to creator Zain Amro.

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You can now ask Alexa to order millions of products on Amazon

Through products like the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, or Amazon Fire TV, you can now tell Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa to buy tens of millions of Amazon products.

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The sorts of things people say to a prayer chatbot

In between talks at Botness, a gathering of bot community leaders held last month in San Francisco, Andy Mauro wondered aloud if chatbots will ultimately make people more social.

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Don’t call them chatbots, call them intelligent assistants

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve no doubt heard about chatbots. However, what’s not commonly known is that chatbots have been around for years.

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Gymbot: A bot that tracks your workouts through Facebook Messenger

There is no shortage of fitness-tracking apps that monitor your walks, runs, or trips to the gym. But app development agency 9elements instead uses a bot to track your daily training regime.

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Beyond BotBeat

This Facebook Messenger Hack Can Let People See What Links You’re Sending

There have been reports of a strange trick that is potentially leaving links in your private Facebook messages open for strangers to access.

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What businesses need to understand about chatbots

Welcome to the bot-centric future, which is set to make smartphone users — i.e. almost everyone in the Western hemisphere — navigate the internet in a chit-chat fashion with a virtual assistant.

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Amazon Echo users can finally choose Spotify or Pandora as default music service

I love my Amazon Echo. And alongside checking the weather, I mostly use the voice-powered smart speaker to play music.

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