With the countless bots that have appeared lately, finding ones to use is becoming increasingly difficult. When you type “bot” into the Google search box, you receive literally hundreds of thousands of results. Going through all of them would take all the time in the world. Wouldn’t it be much easier to find all of them in one place and choose what you need in a matter of seconds?
Fortunately, this brilliant idea has crossed more than just my mind. Many people have started to make bot stores. Similar to app stores, you can browse by categories, read reviews, and rate the latest arrivals. Here are some of the best, along with how they can serve you as developer or user.
How do you create a bot?
Let’s start with the giants of the chatbot world. Big names like Facebook, Slack, Telegram, and Kik all offer open source solutions for anybody who wants to join the chatbot creators club.
If you intend to settle down with Facebook Messenger, pay attention to the platform guidelines. It will provide tips on making your bot more human-like.
With Slack, you can create custom bots for your own team or deploy the predefined bots from the app directory. For example, you may ask the bot to send each employee their photo from a previous corporate party just before an upcoming event. The bots of this category cover a wide range of tasks, from analytics to entertainment.
Telegram created a bot that helps you create bots. The BotFather will provide step-by-step instructions and answer questions.
As you can see, the main purpose of these platforms is to let programmers have the freedom to create any bot. They don’t monitor bot creation or control the outcome as you might experience when creating an app for the Apple or Google stores. Facebook and Telegram do not even have specialized stores at all. For this reason, the self-made bot shops are rapidly growing.
Where do you put your bot?
Once you create a bot, you have to figure out how to make it available. Here are a few options.
Bots.directory covers all the messaging platforms mentioned above. It also supports filtering by categories. You choose a platform and category and the bots will be sorted by the defined parameters.
BotFinder is another chatbot store. Apart from the abovementioned platforms, it also includes Skype bots.
BotPages offers a long list of bots that work with the most popular messaging platforms including Twitter, WhatsApp, Viber, Line, and others.
Botlist provides bots that fit every taste. In addition to the above platforms, it supports Android, iOS, email, SMS, and others. This means that the store is not limited to text messengers only, but spills over to bots that can function far beyond what you can do in a chat.
Telegram Bot Store offers a variety of bots for its platform. You can sort them by categories, looking at recently added bots, the best new bots, or the bots that are at the top of the charts.
The majority of stores do not host the bots, but serve as a connection point where you can discover bots for different platforms.
As a rule, they have a quite simple procedure to add new entries. All you have to do is to click an appropriate button and fill out a form about the bot you want to submit. They are more like a search engine for bots than a curated store.
Bot stores are in an early stage
In the end, as bots become more popular, additional stores will become available. At first, the bot stores are convenient for users who can easily find the right bots by sorting them not only by platform but also by the purpose they serve.
It is notable that official platforms for bot developers generally do not bother launching bot stores. That is why the process of finding your own bots directory is important. Such listings make it easier to find the bot you really want.