But suddenly, amidst an infinite amount of flashy, niche social apps, the humble bot-texting-app has become trendy. air to it, but the comfort of those green and blue bubbles does something to offset the absurdity of it.Every morning Product Hunt is littered with them: There's Text Riley for finding a new apartment, Happy Now for home assistance, Text Miley for job hunting. What likely helped pave the road for this sudden slew of digital SMS friends were Twitter bots.With our intuitive interface, you dont need any programming skills to create realistic and entertaining chatbots.Your chatbots live on the site and can chat independently with others.Launched in 2013, @tofu_product scans your recent tweets, then responds to you with a mish-mash of your own words a few seconds after you send it a message.The account’s creator, 32-year-old Joe Toscano, describes the bot’s output as “linguistic salad creation.”Toscano has tweaked tofu’s algorithm over time.You simply send a text to a phone number, initiating the conversation with “heyyyyyy,” and it replies with a ridiculous message and a link to a weird item on Amazon. Baker wrote the copy, Lacher programmed the service, and Wang handled the design.Using the API from a service called Twilio, the team programmed a script that serves up one of about 400 responses from their database, many of which are driven by keywords within the sender’s SMS message.“We have no grand plans for this thing,” Baker says. And we had a bunch of funny ideas like would you have to slur to get in.
He says he may eventually open-source the reply-generation algorithm, but that may have its drawbacks.“Only having one tofu around makes him kind of a novelty, which is fun,” says Toscano.
After the generation function runs its course, the result is run through a sanity check of a kind and then posted to Twitter as a reply.”Basically, the results are as if your own tweets have been chopped up into poetry magnets and then reassembled by Crispin Glover.
And the responses are fast—sometimes too fast for Twitter’s rate limits.
Your friends might all be busy, unable to provide that quick rush of dopamine you get from a Like, a fav, or comment.
But you don't need them—you can outsource communication to an automated archetype that approximates their role in your social sphere.