I know… you’re reading this article because you think the title is ridiculous. Bots will never become more popular than websites and mobile apps. How could they?
Not only do I believe that bots will dethrone websites and mobile apps, I actually believe that bots may replace websites and mobile apps altogether.
“But Matt, most people don’t even know what bots are! What are you talking about?! You are crazy.”
Maybe…but guess what? By the time you finish reading this article, I guarantee that you will agree with me. Then we can be crazy together.
Here are the three logical reasons why I believe that bots will completely replace websites and mobile apps.
Ready? Let’s do this.
1. Every business is going to have a bot.
You may not know this, but messaging apps are growing fast. Like, ridiculously fast. Facebook Messenger for example is used by over 1 billion people every month and it is growing faster than Facebook.
That is insane.
If messaging apps become the #1 way people communicate, then every business is going to need a way to engage on these platforms.
“Ok, that makes sense… but how does a business talk to people on messaging apps?”
Great question! There are two ways businesses can talk to people on messaging apps.
- The business sets up something similar to a call center where real people are chatting online all day long. This isn’t cost effective and 99% of businesses can never do this.
- The business uses a computer to talk to everyone. The computer can respond instantly, can communicate with any number of people simultaneously, and it’s incredibly cost effective. These computers are called bots.
If messaging apps become the #1 way people communicate, and every business needs a strategy to engage with people on messaging apps, and bots are the only scalable way to do this, then every business will eventually have a bot.
“Ok, ok, sure. Every business will have a bot. But why would I ever use their bot instead of their website or mobile app?”
This is where things get even more interesting. Let me explain.
2. Bots will be faster than websites and mobile apps.
Bots aren’t that smart yet. They don’t understand everything you are saying, they can’t teach themselves, and to be honest right now bots are more similar to lightweight apps than artificially intelligent personalities.
But one day we’ll get there.
Imagine a world where the experience of talking to a business via a bot is at least just as good as using its website or mobile app. I believe that in this situation people will choose to talk to the bot rather than go to the website or use the mobile app.
“Uhhh… no Matt. People won’t want to use the bot.”
I understand your skepticism! But I disagree. Here’s why I think people will choose to talk to the bot:
- It can take seconds, or even up to a minute, to load a website. Bots load instantly. As long as two products are comparable in value, people will always use the one that loads fastest. In this case, that would be the bot.
- Mobile apps need to be downloaded. They take up valuable real estate on your phone and they take time to download. Bots don’t need to be downloaded. You just send them a message and you’re using it.
“Matt, do you really think everyone will use bots just because they load fast and you don’t have to download them?”
No, there’s another reason, and it’s the most important one.
3. Bots will be easier to use than any other technology ever created.
Every website and mobile app is designed with a visual interface. Buttons, text, images, and so on.
And guess what? Not every website and mobile app is designed the same. This means that you constantly have to learn new visual interfaces in order to use your favorite products.
Now, take a second to think about “language” as if it was a different type of interface. Language as an interface is something everyone is taught the moment we are born. Our parents, and others, teach us how to talk, and that’s how we learn to interact with the world around us.
“Makes sense Matt, but where are you going with this?”
Language is the most natural interface humans understand, and that’s the interface that bots use. Instead of needing to constantly learn visual interfaces, bots will enable us to naturally use language, the first interface we were ever taught.
In the future, maybe 5 or 10 years from now, bots will be able to understand you completely. Not like Siri, or anything else you’ve ever used, I mean they will absolutely completely understand what you are saying. Not like a person, but infinitely better.
Think about this.
If you were going to plan a trip today you would go to a travel website. You would browse, find hotels, figure out which ones are in the right area, where the restaurants are, etc. You would have to mentally keep track of everything while figuring out what you want to do.
Now imagine that instead of scrolling through the website yourself, you could actually talk to the travel website via a bot, and it would understand everything you say perfectly. This is going to be one of the biggest shifts in how people interact with computers.
In the future, talking to a bot will be like talking to a real person who has instant access to entire databases of information and can process your thoughts and desires instantly.
This is where the world is going.
This is why I believe that it’s very likely that bots will completely kill websites and mobile apps. If you agree, click here to let me know.
To summarize, this is what needs to happen in order for bots to kill websites and mobile apps:
- Every business needs to get a bot. This will likely happen because bots are the only scalable way for businesses to communicate with people on message apps.
- Bots need to provide as much value, in their own way, as a website or a mobile app.
- Machine learning and natural language processing, also referred to as artificial intelligence, need to get good enough so that talking to a bot is more powerful than talking to a human.
A future where bots kill websites and mobile apps isn’t certain, but I believe it is very likely. Because of that, I am excited to announce that I have started Octane AI, where we are doing everything we can to make this future a reality.
The first step towards a future where bots replace websites and mobile apps is to help the 100,000,000+ businesses around the world setup their bots.
This is the first thing we are focused on.
Anyone can use Octane AI to setup a bot in minutes. You don’t have to create your bot from the ground up and you don’t have to learn conversational interfaces; we’ve done all of that for you. All you have to do on Octane AI is choose what you want your bot to do and then customize it to match your brand.
Octane AI is incredibly easy to use. Sign up for the beta here: OctaneAI.com
“Are the bots on Octane AI ridiculously smart? Can they do anything?”
No. Why? Because the future where bots can understand you completely isn’t yet possible. But we’re doing everything we can to get us there.
Right now the bots you can build on Octane AI are valuable, useful, and simple. Over time they will get smarter and smarter as the technology behind artificial intelligence improves.
I founded Octane AI in May 2016 with Ben Parr, author of Captivology and marketing guru, and Leif K-Brooks, the creator of Omegle, a chat product that has powered over 200 billion conversations. We are backed with $1.5 million led by General Catalyst (Phil Libin, the creator of Evernote), Boost VC, Dimension 6, Brad Hunstable (Founder of Ustream), Larry Braitman, and Allan Grant (Founder of Hired).
I continue to be inspired by the tens of thousands of amazing botmakers in the bots community. I encourage everyone working on bots to keep pushing the boundaries and don’t be scared to fail. These are the early days and it’s up to all of us to lead the way.
Let’s create a future where bots raise humanity to an entirely new level of productivity, effectiveness, and creativity.