theScore plans to launch sports bot for Facebook Messenger


Official F8 2016 Messenger Partner theScore will soon launch a chatbot that sends real-time sports news to its users. The media outlet was the first brand to begin development of a sports media app for the platform and already has a strong Facebook presence with over 2.7 million followers.

“Bots provide us with an opportunity to deliver a brand new service for sports fans on a platform used by 900 million people a month,” said Riaz Lalani VP of product at theScore in an interview with MobileSyrup.

To interact with the bot users will have to search “theScore” on the messenger platform. In their first interaction, users will be asked what teams they want to receive scores and news from and the bot will then begin sending updates in real-time. Users can manage the conversation in settings.

“Over time, we’ll be iterating to make it more conversational and improving the AI,” said Lalani, “Also, we expect to eventually be able to allow people to ‘pull’ theScore bot into their own private group conversations to settle arguments over things like who was a better player.”

theScore hasn’t provided any hard and fast launch date for the bot, but stated that it is currently in the fine tuning process and will release it very soon.

The chatbot will join its app as a mobile tool for followers. When asked if he believed the day of the app was over, Lalani responded: “The truth is that we don’t yet know how significant a development this will be and what the adoption of bots will look like a year from now – it’s very, very early. What we do know is that messaging platforms in general are growing fast and are estimated to reach two billion people by 2018.”

With such a huge audience, said Lalani, it made sense for theScore to be there, but the company will learn more as theScore’s followers begin to use it.

“Once it goes live, then the new challenge begins,” he said, “In terms of understanding how fans are interacting with it, providing us with invaluable data to iterate quickly and ensure we are building a product sports fans and customers love.”

Related reading: theScore eSports app addsHeroes of the Storm live score and stat tracking