Facebook has unveiled the 60 finalists that will battle it out for the Bots for Messenger Developer Challenge. Launched in February 2017, the challenge is a contest to recognize and rewards developers who create the most innovative new bots on Messenger.
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 (10 per category in the 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 startups build and grow their bots. All student teams who made it to the finals won an additional $2,000.
“Facebook grew out of a hacker culture and thrives by promoting innovation on new platforms. That’s why we 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.’’ Emeka Afigbo, Facebook’s Head of Platform Partnerships for the Middle East and Africa said.
“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.”
Facebook will contact the finalists 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.
The 60 finalist teams for the Bots for Messenger Developer Challenge and their bots can be viewed here