Skype has always been the home for your most important conversations.
At this year’s Microsoft Build Conference, CEO Satya Nadella showed us the beginning of a new world. A world where technology works with your everyday conversations to make life easier, more productive, and fun.
In April we released a series of preview Skype Bots—intelligent helpers that make it easier to get things done by communicating directly in your Skype chats. Since spring we have seen positive momentum in the creation of Skype Bots. We have over 30,000 developers building bots on our platform and thousands of developers are able to share their bot through a Skype join link directly on their website.
Today, we are introducing a series of partner-inspired bots into the Skype Bot directory on our Android, Windows, iOS, Mac and Web apps. Currently, we are focused on creating Skype Bots in our directory that deliver interesting experiences, in a variety of scenarios. You can communicate with a bot by having a regular chat conversation, in the same way you would when talking to another person. The more you use bots, the better they get at anticipating your needs. We want bots to become the quickest way to handle simple tasks, like shopping or managing your calendar, and the most effortless way to complete complex tasks, like planning a vacation from scratch.
In July, we announced three key updates to the bot framework, including group functionality, to make your chats even more helpful. Now, rather than switching between different apps or clicking through multiple Web pages, the bot does the work for you. Bringing a bot into a group conversation allows you to do things together with your friends, family, or co-workers like never before. Using a group bot, you and your friends can collaborate on a task such as planning a trip or choosing a restaurant or even play trivia together.
With bots, you can also bring in cards with detailed information and images—from travel destinations to ticket orders— directly into your Skype chats. New features like cards and groups allow Skype Bots to be more engaging and interactive in your daily chats.
In the past few months we’ve been working with different partners and developers to bring you new bots that provide great experiences.
For example, we’ve partnered with Skyscanner, an industry leader in global travel search, to help take the hassle out of planning a trip. The Skyscanner Bot lets you search for flights either individually or as part of a group, returning live prices and route options within Skype, based on location suggestions like “Paris in July” or “Spain.”
We’ve also been working closely with StubHub, one of the world’s largest ticket marketplaces, to bring you a fun, simple way to find your tickets to an amazing event. Add the StubHub Bot to find tickets to some of life’s most memorable artists, athletes, performers and experiences—all in one chat. StubHub for Skype makes finding your next great experience as easy as chatting with friends.
The IFTTT Bot will keep you informed with automated messages from the apps, devices, and websites you love based on the triggers of your choice, including breaking news, the weather, social media notifications, someone at your door, and more.
Don’t let travel planning drive you or your group nuts! Add the Hipmunk Bot to inspire your next getaway by giving you the best flight, hotel, and general travel advice based on your specific preferences, such as price, vacation theme, or minimizing travel agony.
You can even take a virtual Trek to the Stars! Chat with Spock, second in command of the USS Enterprise, to learn the ways of Vulcan logic.
To check out all of these great new bots and more, make sure you are on the latest Skype app for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, or Web. To learn more about bots, please visit our Skype FAQ and Skype Bots feature page.
In addition to our great partners, we’re also working directly with our developer community to bring unique bot experiences to life through your Skype chats.
Earlier this summer, we hosted our very first Skype Bot Hackathon in our Palo Alto office where participants worked to create bots that do everything from helping you choose dinner, find the perfect song to fit your mood, and even buy the right health insurance.
Stay tuned to see their bots in Skype soon!
Skype has forever been changing the way people communicate, from breaking down the barriers of distance with free video calling, language barriers with Skype Translator, to creating special content you can share with loved ones. Now we are thrilled to bring you helpful, creative and intuitive bots to make your life a little easier through your everyday conversations.