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Designing Bots, 1st Edition by Amir Shevat

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Chapter 11. Bot Discovery and Installation

The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance—it is the illusion of knowledge.

DANIEL BOORSTIN

IN THE PAST FEW years, discovery has been one of the top challenges for software. Users are flooded with websites and mobile apps that offer to make their lives happier, more interesting, and more productive. Advertisers and marketers, growth hackers, and product managers are all trying to solve the problem and get their services to the right users at the right time.

On the one hand, bots have it a little better these days. The ecosystem is still young and not overly saturated. If you go to any of the bot directories, you’ll find that they are still considerably less crowded than the app stores. On the other hand, a lot of the discovery mechanisms that are available to mobile app developers have yet to mature for bot developers—a/b testing, analytical tools, and ads are all in their infancy when it comes to bots.

Let’s explore a few of the bot discovery options that are currently available.

Bot Directories

Bot directories are websites or in-chat product areas where you can search for, get information on, and install bots. Most messaging platforms provide bot directories in some shape or form. There are also directories, such as Botlist, that are external to the platforms and provide a third-party listing of bots on multiple platforms.

Some bot directories, like Slack’s, have featured placements that are curated by a human and rotated periodically, ...

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