An Excerpt of the book “How to Develop a Bot using SnatchBot” by Peter Michael
SnatchBot is one of the fanciest frameworks for building chatbots; it comes with a beautiful array of functions and a facilitating interface while enabling you to deploy your chatbot easily to mobile devices, web applications, and chat services such as Facebook Messenger, SnatchApp, Skype, Viber, Slack, Twilio, Line and other popular channels. It is virtually the easiest framework to build beautiful bots with a credible proficiency, no coding or technical skill is required.
The framework was developed by Henri Ben Ezra and his brother in 2015. The duo worked in the Telco industry for about two decades while realizing their intention to make the goodness of cost-effective artificial intelligence available to everyone. The framework was intentionally made easy to use, free, and elusive of any coding technicality according to the SnatchBot statement of purpose which is obviously true, seeing its simplicity and clarity indeed. Anyone can build a chatbot using SnatchBot, even if they haven’t learnt anything about chatbots in the past — they only have to be committed to understanding the workflow of the framework with its simplicity.
To start using SnatchBot, you need to create an account if you don’t already have one — visit www.snatchbot.me to get started. Browse the home page to sign up (and/or login).
The dashboard provides a summary of all the activities of your bots, the number of bots you have built so far, total messages sent and received by all and each of your bots. It shows the channels in which they are active, with their corresponding analytics. The dashboard also shows the last message received or sent by the last bot users have interacted with.
“My Bots” is the next item on the menu which brings an array of the bots built or that are still in development. One can always create a new bot or edit an existing one. While creating new bots, SnatchBot allows you to replicate template projects — meaning you could select the appropriate template for your intended bot from the Bot store if you want. SnatchBot also allows you to copy and paste workflows from different bots.
The broadcast feature allows you to send messages to several of your users at once. The functionality allows your audience to become more engaged
according to the broadcasting policy of Facebook, Skype, or Slack, you need to get agreement for your users to receive broadcast notifications from your chatbot.
Lets you view the conversation between your bot and its users while you can check the overall report of one or more bots sequel to their interaction and other necessary related information, say date, user location, contact, etc. You can export the reports as an offline XLS document or a JSON file.
Customizing and deploying your chatbot
In the development mode, the menu is displayed quite differently and you have other items which include “channels”, from which you can edit or update the information about your bot, customize it, and also deploy it to channels.
Deploying your chatbot to various channels (webchat, social media, hardware) after developing it might be a little technical in other frameworks, but it is very simple with SnatchBot.
At the ‘’customize’’ menu, we get to change the theme of our bot’s chat window, the avatars, the texts and many more. You can scroll down the page to see the preview. We can also determine what the user will see as soon as they open the bot in webchat, whether the bot’s name should show while it is typing. One can choose if the image of the bot could be displayed, or even add a share button to enable the user to share the link of the bot so that more people can interact with it. Another thing particular on that horizontal menu (from the image above) is ‘’Get Embed Code’’, and this simply lets you copy the link of your bot for web chat or copy the script which you can paste in the background code of your webpages such that the bot can pop up as a widget on the webpage from which visitors can open the chat window and engage the bot in conversation.
University of Lagos, Nigeria
SGC GI: 048 — Robotics/IoT/AI