Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Facebook picks 60 finalists in Bots for Messenger Developer Challenge

Facebook has selected 60 finalists from the hundreds of entries received from across the Middle East and Africa for its Bot Messenger Developer Challenge, reports ITRealms.

The Bots for Messenger Challenge, ITRealms gathered, is a contest to recognise and reward developers who create the most innovative new bots on Messenger.

ITRealms reports that developers, in teams of up to three people, were invited to create bots in three categories: gaming and entertainment; productivity and utility; and social good.

The 60 finalist teams, ITRealms reports which made up of 10 per category in Middle East/North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa; each won a Gear VR and mobile phone, one hour of Facebook mentorship, and tools and services from FbStart, a Facebook program designed to help early stage mobile start-ups build and grow their bots. All student teams who made it to the finals won an additional $2,000.

According to Facebook’s Head of Platform Partnerships for the Middle East and Africa, Emeka Afigbo, the finalists will be contact and connect them with a mentor.

“They will need to resubmit their bots before midnight (GMT) on June 2 to qualify to win. For each region, three runner-up teams (one from each category) will win $10,000 and three months of Facebook mentorship. For each region, three winning teams (one from each category) will win $20,000 and three months of Facebook mentorship,” he said.

Afigbo also said, Facebook grew out of a hacker culture and thrives by promoting innovation on new platforms. Stressing that's why they launched the Bots for Messenger Challenge, with the aim of rewarding entrepreneurs and developers for harnessing the power of bots to create amazing new services and apps.

“We were overwhelmed to receive more than 1,000 entries over two and a half months for the Bots for Messenger Challenge from developers and entrepreneurs across the Middle East and Africa—each one of them solving a problem in an inventive way or enriching the lives of its target user,” Afigbo said.

Nonye Dom/GEE 
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