One does not simply create a chatbot and launch it… unless it is for Telegram. Only on this messaging app, there is no special bot publishing procedure. Since you create it, it is available to everybody. On other popular platforms, you have to publish your chatbot to make it fully functional.
What can an unpublished bot do? What requirements should it meet to be approved by moderators? What should you do to get it published?
It this article, we will describe how to do it on Facebook Messenger, Viber, and Skype.
Until the app goes through the review and approval, the chatbot will work only for admins/ developers/ quality testers which are set up in “Roles” sections in your app.
Chatbot’s content has to comply with Facebook policy and community standards. Make sure it does not offer to sell illegal substances, does not propagate violence, terrorism, and does not contain any sexual material. You can check the full list on facebook.com/communitystandards.
Your bot must not confuse, spam or mislead anyone. For example, if you propose to click a link with product description, but actually it leads to an extraneous website with advertisements, it is a wrong thing to do.
The chatbot has to:
- function stable
- respond quickly (in any case, within a minute)
- be able to process an unexpected input
- scale – your webhook must be able to handle sudden spikes in webhook events
Webhook has to function properly and return a 200 OK response to webhook events.
How to publish a Facebook Messenger chatbot?
You have to fill out the form on developers.facebook.com and send it to review of a Facebook moderator.
Go to developers.facebook.com/apps, to your app, to Messenger tab and find the section “App Review for Messenger.” Press “Add items” button for each permission your bot needs.
In the “Approved Items “section added permissions will be displayed.
At a minimum, any bot needs pages_messaging permission to send messages to users.
One of the most tiresome things is a pages_messaging_subscriptions permission.
If your bot has this permission in its app, the user can be automatically subscribed to opt-in messaging when they begin a conversation. Facebook allows it in following cases: for news channels (obviously, they need it to send news), productivity apps (with reminders on tasks, paying bills, etc.), personal trackers (for fitness, health, finance). There were situations when moderators decided that the bot fits neither of these use cases and rejected it
Press the button “Edit notes” next to each submitted permission, and you will see the form for submission of additional information. Fill it out.
When the bot is approved, you will see a green tick next to each confirmed submission in the section “App Review for Messenger”.
If you get a rejection, read carefully the reason for it, make amendments and send your bot for review and approval again.
Once you’ll get it, in the “App Review” section set the Make Your_app_name_App public switch to Yes.
Additionally, you can submit your bot for Messenger Discover tab.
Note, that if you create a bot on a development platform, for example, Chatfuel or Manychat, instead of accomplishing all these steps, you just press one button. The platforms publish their own app (which already has approval) and all the chatbots created on the platform function through it. But if you would like to add your bot to Discover tab, you have to go through the official publication process.
You can share your bot using an invite-link. It doesn’t appear in the search and it doesn’t have an external link (like viber.com/botname).
Here, chatbot’s content also must comply with the policy. In general, the rules are the same as on Facebook: it must not contain anything illegal, threatening, offensive, or pornographic.
To create a public account of a brand or an organization you have to be its authorized representative.
A chatbot has to be carefully tested before being sent for review.
On Viber, there is also a “quick response” rule but the limit is even stricter: a bot has to answer within 5 seconds or send a message explaining the delay.
The chatbot must be able to process all kinds of Viber message types (text, images, stickers, location and so on).
It must recognize at least simple cases of free user input and continue the conversation.
How to publish a Viber chatbot?
You have to fill out a publication form (it can be found in the documentation).
In addition to information about the developer, including phone number and company name, and general information on the bot (its name, brief description, language, publication country), you have to provide a screencast displaying your bot functionality.
After your chatbot is registered (a bot created using Microsoft Bot Framework is registered automatically) it is available to users. But only up to 100 people can use it and only by a join-link, it doesn’t appear in search. At dev.skype.com, they say that it is enough for developing and testing purposes.
The bot name, unlike Telegram, must not include a suffix “Bot”.
Your bot must have:
- an individual icon that doesn’t violate the copyright;
- a clear description of its purpose;
- greeting message that appears after it is added to contacts;
- an adequate reaction to the messages that the bot doesn’t understand: it must display a help messages
It must function properly and also without delays (no exact time limits are indicated).
It is emphasized that the bot must be designed in a mobile-friendly way.
Content also has to meet commonly accepted legacy and security standards.
How to publish a Skype chatbot?
Go to Microsoft Bot Framework and select the account of the bot you are going to publish. In Channels section, choose Edit and press Publish.
Fill out the form and hope for a quick answer.
Good luck with the publication of your chatbot! Let it be free of trouble and necessity to make amendments!