Building Bots for Messenger: Trivia Blast

Trivia Blast is a conversational trivia game in Messenger with more than 19,000 questions organized around 500 topics and available in 6 languages. People use Trivia Blast to have fun and learn new things about their favorite subjects, from Taylor Swift to American history, football or even space exploration.

Trivia Blast recently sat down with us to discuss their bot:

In 100 words or less describe what your bot does.
Trivia Blast is a quiz game where players answer 7 questions on a topic and try to get the best score. Rankings are available, so players can see how they stack up against friends, schoolmates, and others in their city, their country, or around the world.

With webviews, players can challenge their friends 1 to 1 or play our Massively Multiplayer Quiz for groups, which provides a full screen experience that offers the same immersion and quality traditionally found in iOS or Android apps. This expands the game’s creative and storytelling capabilities for mobile devices.

Trivia Blast’s community is also very active in using the bot to create more questions for the subjects they love (the game is 100% made by fans, for fans).

 

Who are you trying to reach?
We want to reach the 1.2B people who use Messenger every month and who want to play a fun game that fosters their knowledge on any subject. It’s also a way for players to develop new connections with people who have similar interests and a chance for them to use Messenger to start new conversations and new friendships.

How did you go about designing your bot?
We’ve been developing for the Messenger Platform since F8 2015 and are continuously exploring ways to bring our content closer to the people in the Facebook community. When the Messenger Platform for bots was announced at F8 2016, we jumped on the opportunity and were one of the first to launch on the platform, submitting our bot only four days after the announcement.

Since then, we use the full range of Messenger Platform features. For example, we implement carousels and quick replies to create a simple, elegant navigation based on the GUI, and rely on Wit.ai so users can naturally type or speak about any topic. Each time the platform releases a new feature, we look for ways to integrate it as soon as possible—like for example the new Chat Extensions released in Messenger Platform 2.0.

What have you learned since launching? Any surprises or successes you want to share?
We were super energized to see the engagement of the platform regarding usage. Since launch, more than 250 million messages have been sent, with more than 10 million players.

We’re also receiving multiple, spontaneous messages from people, telling us how much they love the game. Additionally, we’ve received thousands of 5 star ratings, which means a lot to our team.

What are you going to build next?
With Messenger, there is a new flow of content distribution, and bots are an essential node for the interconnected experience that allows the same core product (our trivia game) to be played differently in various parts of the Facebook ecosystem. Trivia Blast may have started with a bot, but it’s also available for Instant Games (which is showing tremendous results, too), Chat Extensions for Challenges and our Massively Multiplayer quiz, a solo mode and even a question maker for Messenger and Facebook.

Adding more NLP/AI with Wit.ai is also on our roadmap, and new features to connect players around AI and fun will be announced soon.

We also invested our time in React, Native for our apps, and JS for the web. Since Facebook released it as open source at F8 2015, and with the rise of the webviews, the potential of this technology is growing. The fact that it can work for various environments, including VR, is a huge plus.

Finally, we’re working towards monetization and a few other entertainment concepts specifically for Messenger that we’ll roll out later this year.

Why Messenger?
With its 1.2 billion monthly users, Messenger is the natural choice. On top of that, the documentation is extremely well done, making it easy and fast to develop for the platform. The Messenger team is really listening to developers like us, constantly launches new features and is super active on the Messenger Platform group, which is really helpful!

To show how much we love building for Messenger, check out the bot developers quiz we added to our Trivia Blast bot and our new webviews for mobile web.

Our Building Bots for Messenger series highlights different experiences on the Messenger platform. These businesses and developers have approached building their bots in a unique and interesting way, and are seeing success on the Messenger platform. Look for more bot profiles right here on the Messenger blog.

Oops! This browser is unsupported.

To see why bots mean business please update your browser to the latest version.