Started by IIT, IIM and Ivy League alumni; Gurgaon-based news technology start-up NewsBytes launched its automated bot on Facebook Messenger. The beta version of their cross-platform bot is a part of Facebook’s Messenger program revealed at F8 conference. It is known to be India’s first news bot.
In its one year of existence, NewsBytes, by Elysium Labs Private Limited, with around 40k downloads on Play Store, has seen a spectacular growth so far. It is one of the highest-rated news apps in India. Its primary focus is to reduce information overload in your everyday news consumption. Its engine along with human curators picks up the most significant news events of the day, summarizes them and creates the contextual timeline around them.
Available globally, in English, the bot lets users read latest news along with its timeline, search across the content and subscribe to the daily news digest. The readability is enhanced by the card-like view, further supported by appropriate images. One can decide to read just the headlines or the entire story behind that particular news item.
Going forward, the company aims to distribute its unique content across platforms like Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram et cetra; thereby reducing the app download friction of the youth of the country. Instead of changing the online behaviour of the users, co-founder Sumedh Chaudhry said that NewsBytes targets to become a platform agnostic news company. In a mobile first country like India, he feels this is certainly the step in the right direction.
Facebook follows a very stringent policy and rejects one out of every three bots submitted to it. Romesh Khaddar, CTO said that the trick is to follow all the guidelines issued by Facebook and think out-of- the-box to give the best user experience in the limited options provided by Facebook and then keep adding features to it. In their case, one can essentially receive all the news without typing even one word.