Pros and Cons of SMS as a Chatbot Platform?

(Pete Mauro) #1


I am considering creating an SMS chatbot to facilitate productive co-parenting between divorced couples. I am looking at SMS because it is the most common mode of communication for my target audience and would not require a pre-existing mobile app / download. (Great for the user and reduces development and operational costs significantly).

Some downsides came to mind quickly. I will not be able to use a sophisticated interface to interact with the user and it will cost $0.001 per message if I use something like Twilio.

Does anyone here have any experience making an SMS chatbot or have any thoughts on my concerns?


(Akshay Zade) #2

As long as you have the APIs to receive/push messages to an SMS channel, there’s absolutely nothing preventing you from doing this. However, keep in mind that this will be strictly textual.

On the flip side, you can instantly have Alexa, Google Assistant, etc. integration since you aren’t relying on the visuals. Heck, you could even enable conversation where one user is on Alexa and another is on SMS.

(Pete Mauro) #3

Yeah, I think you mean Twilio to create a number and send texts?

I think those integrations would be great - unfortunately I think what I could do with Siri is very limited if I understand how SiriKit works. (I don’t want to have to make an iOS app that a user is required to download).

(Akshay Zade) #4

Yes, that is what I meant. I checked out Twilio after posting my reply.

You’re still up for Google Assistant and Alexa. I wasn’t thinking on in-phone voice assistants. I was thinking of devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo. Granted, this comes later and is one of those “cool to have” features. But added advantage, nonetheless.