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MagicX joins the Facebook Messenger chatbot fray. Will it be able to create an impact?

Sindhu Kashyaap
16th Apr 2016
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Within two days of Facebook releasing its new Messenger chatbots, on-demand chat-enabled artificial intelligence (AI) app MagicX has released its application on Messenger. Pratyush Prasanna, Co-founder and CEO, MagicX, claims that theirs is one of the first bots on Facebook Messenger.

He says that they chose Facebook Messenger bots because of the shared objective of allowing users to do most of their day-to-day transactions in a simple and easy chat environment. “We believe in providing an experience akin to chatting with a friend to perform a majority of the day-to-day transactions,” Pratyush adds.

MagicX adds value by enabling transaction fulfillment for Facebook India Messenger users in various categories such as recharges, postpaid bills, utility bills, flight booking, food ordering, medicines ordering and more. Facebook also provides them with the much needed distribution and reach.

YourStory-MagicX
MagicX

Simply put, the Messenger bots can be broken down into two categories, one for bots that provide information and the other for ones that let you buy things.

Pratyush explains that each MagicX bot acts as an expert in its category and continues to learn from more human interaction, becoming more human-like in responses, but much more intelligent at the same time. The team has built deep tech integrations with top vendors in each category it supports.

Based on customer feedback and ratings, MagicX determines the quality of each vendor in relation to customers and utilises vendor relationships accordingly. “With these vendor integrations, we ensure an impeccable experience for our users, which is usually better than the incumbents,” adds Pratyush.

In a normal scenario, the routing bot in the app first determines the context for interaction, like recharge, bill payments or grocery. Once the user types in his requirements, he or she is directed to the appropriate bot.

Once inside a category bot, the bot asks for appropriate responses from the user and chooses the appropriate path for him. In the background, it also chooses the best availability, quality of service and offers, and automatically applies them for the user's requirements. Lastly, it sends an automated payment link. The user, through a single tap, finishes the payment. As soon as a transaction is done, the user is again sent back automatically to the routing bot.

MagicX aims to be the go-to place in India for users to perform most of their day-to-day transactions, in the fastest, smartest and most personalised way. It aims to reach users in their own language across India and assist them in completing transactions across multiple categories.

“The focus is also to build a user experience to perform transactions that are currently tedious, and convert them into that which feels like second nature, owing to its simplicity, smartness and personalisation,” says Pratyush.

YourStory take

While the next ride seems towards chatbots and the social networking giant’s entry in the space validates it, there are several factors one needs to keep in mind. Many reviews suggest that a consumer’s curiosity might soon change into irritation, with the amount of advertising and brand content he or she receives. Many reviews also claim that the current conversations on the chatbots are unnatural and are punctured with moments of utter silence.

One of the reviewers on Gizmodo says, “I spent more time trying to guess what these little bots wanted to hear than actually talking to them.”

However, many others believe it is too early to comment on the workings of the chatbot, and the Facebook team is already working on different ways to make the process smoother and more intelligent.

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