How to Make Your Own Kik Bot

Chat apps are one of the most popular things on the Internet these days – over 1.4 billion people used a chat app in 2016, making them the most popular type of mobile app. What many people don’t realize is that some of the “people” they chat with online are actually automated programs, also known as bots. Popular chat app Kik has created and deployed a Kik bot where people can chat, but you can make your own bot too!

Why are you making a Kik bot? The process is not difficult, but interesting, and building a bot can teach you a little (or a lot) about how automation works. Kik has its own Bot Store, so if you create a quality bot you can place it in the store. Most bots are pretty low quality, so if you have a good idea and implement it well, you can draw a lot of attention for your bot. Also, bots have a legitimate function of providing some online customer service, so developing a bot can be a useful resume item that could one day land you a programming job!

There are a few different approaches to creating a bot on Kik. The Kik process requires that you know (at least a little) how to code in Python or Node.js. There are also standalone bot software platforms that allow you to configure a bot without knowing how to code.

own-own-kik-bot-2-how-to

Planning your Kik bot

Before you start developing your bot, you should spend some time planning. What do you want your bot to do? What do you want him to achieve? What will make it different from all the other bots? Having a clear goal will help you stay focused as you develop your bot, so consider all these questions before you get into the creation phase. These questions are less important if you’re planning on building a bot just for fun – you can start developing it and see what happens. It doesn’t matter if it’s been done before because you’re doing it for yourself. These questions are more important if you plan to create a bot for others to use. If your bot isn’t doing anything new, why would anyone use it?

Here are some of the items you should plan ahead:

  1. I’m thinking of a short, quick name for your Kik bot.
  2. Choosing a personality. Will it be sarcastic? Friendly? Far?
  3. Deciding on your target audience and topic. Is this a bot that talks sports with adults? A robot that tells jokes to children?
  4. Thinking about the types of conversations you want to have. Is the bot really analyzing what the other person is saying, or is it too shallow?
  5. Thinking about how to navigate off-topic conversations.
In relation :  What does silent do on Kik?

Starting the bot

To start creating a bot, you will need the Kik app and you will need to register on the Kik developer site.

  1. Get the app from the app store (Apple or Google Play).
  2. You will then need to visit the Kik Dev website and sign up.
  3. Open the Kik app on your device and scan the Kik Code from the development page.
  4. Wait for the Kik bot @Botsworth to send you a message and follow the wizard linked to that message. You will need to enter a user ID, display name and profile picture.

Your bot’s bare bones are now built and ready to be given some intelligence.

Option 1 – Create a bot using a programming language

After completing the steps above, visit the Kik Getting Started page.

  1. Load your API library as instructed using Python or Node.js, depending on whether you want to code in Python or Java. The Kik guide is pretty helpful here and shows you sample bots to help you configure your own.
  2. Kik also has its own Github page if you need some help.
  3. Program your bot using the language of your choice.
  4. Test, test and test again. You should also invite your friends to help you test it because they will find ways to break your bot that you wouldn’t have thought of on your own.
  5. When you’re happy, release the bot into the wild via the Kik bot store.

You may have noticed that I reviewed the actual programming of the bot. Kik has put together a great tutorial on how to do this.

own-own-kik-bot-3-how-to

Option 2 – Create a bot using ChatFlow

ChatFlow is just one of many API tools that simplifies bot creation by allowing you to use a graphical interface to create your bot instead of using code.

  1. Follow the above steps under Launching the bot to download the app and sign in to kik.com.
  2. Follow the instructions to create and name your bot using Botsworth.
  3. Select Configuration on Kik.dev website and copy the bot name and API key.
  4. Create a ChatFlow app and create a flow starting with kik-in and kik-out.
  5. Right click on the Kik-in node, select ‘Add new kikbot controller’ and edit. Paste the bot name and API key and select Add.
  6. Right click on Kik-out, select the bot name and click OK.
  7. Select Distribute.

This creates a basic Kik bot. This bot will echo any message you send, but your bot is bare bones built. From here, you can develop more advanced messages and interactions for your bot until you are completely happy. The instructions in ChatFlow are very clear and logical, so almost anyone can create a chatbot!

In relation :  WhatsApp: You can finally transfer your chats from Android to iOS

Summing up

Creating a bot on Kik can be done programmatically or using one of the bot initiating platforms like ChatFlow. You can create a bot either way, but you’ll learn more if you do it programmatically. Kik isn’t the only chat service in their ecosystem that promotes bot use, and bots are a growing Internet trend. Learning to code smart bots is a job with real potential.