Marvel today launched Spider-Man bots for Twitter and Facebook Messenger to promote the release of its Secret Empire comic book. The bot shares action shots from the comic book and directs you to answer questions and decipher riddles. The bot also asks you to send it your location, and it can tell you where to go to “report for duty” to fight an evil army (a.k.a direct you to a local store where you can buy the comic book).
Since Facebook VP David Marcus shared that the Messenger business model is based on advertising, people may begin to see more bots like Spider-Man.
Messenger has also been used by brands like Tommy Hilfiger to give customers fashion tips, and the Absolut vodka Messenger bot offered to buy you a free drink at a nearby bar.
The Spider-Man bot lands on Messenger during a busy week for the chat app, which has 1.2 billion monthly users. At F8, the annual Facebook developer conference, Messenger Platform 2.0 launched with a series of new features to make bots and businesses more discoverable. A task management bot from Yahoo, a sandwich ordering bot from Subway, and a series of financial services also made their debut.
Spider-Man may be one of the first legit superhero bots, but it’s not the first to roll out ahead of a product release. Last year, a bot was made ahead of the release of the animated Disney film Zootopia. Bots have also been made to rack up millions of chat interactions ahead of Call of Duty game releases, and a Google Home action allows you to chat with corrupted AI assistant Aeden from HBO series Westworld.
The Spider-Man Messenger bot was made with the Conversable bot creation platform. Based in Austin, Conversable has made bots for companies like Wing Stop and Whole Foods and was cited at a recent F8 session as one of a set of about 25 companies that make up the core of the Messenger bot ecosystem.