I’m Sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that!

With much fanfare PaddyPower have recently announced their brand new chat bot for Facebook messenger. I’m a massive advocate of building on messenger platforms and if we look to WeChat in Asia, we can see exactly what potential there is for messaging tools to become fully-fledged platforms in their own right.

If you ignore the advanced functionality of placing bets, you can build your own AI driven chat for free and have it live in a few hours.

Step 1: Head on over to and register a free account

Step 2: Follow the on-screen instructions which involves nothing harder than dragging and dropping some icons, adding some text, links and images

Step 3: Define what words or phrases a user will type to receive which message for example “Free bet” would trigger a free bet message or “help” would trigger a support message

Step 3: Connect to your Facebook fan page

Step 4: You are live

It is really that simple to build and deploy your own chat bot. You then have plenty of time to be thoughtful as to what questions users will ask and what answers to give (these can also be changed at any time). To earn your black belt, with a coupe of clicks you can add “advanced” functionality such as asking for permission to send broadcast messages, gather email addresses or even run a quiz. You can then promote your chat bot on your website (have a look at how Techcrunch do it) and via your Facebook page

The options for user engagement are pretty wide and this is an amazing way to get content in front of customers and bypass inbox spam filters or the Facebook News Feed algorithm.

Brace yourself, the nerds are coming!