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TechCrunch launches a personalized news recommendations bot on Facebook Messenger

TechCrunch TechCrunch 19/04/2016 Travis Bernard

We’re excited to announce the launch of our cross-platform and personalized news recommendations bot on Facebook Messenger. The bot is part of Facebook’s Messenger program revealed at F8, and it will help our readers get the news they want from us in a more conversational way.

You can activate the bot on our Facebook page, or click here (it’s also on the header of our site).

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Similar to our Telegram bot launched last month, our Messenger bot will help you stay on top of the topics and stories you care about. You can subscribe to different topics, authors or sections of the site, and the bot will send you news articles from TechCrunch about the things you are interested in the most.

The bot will send you updates once a day, but if there aren’t any stories about the topics you subscribe to, you won’t hear from us.

You can also ask the bot questions like “What is Disrupt?” and it will give you an answer.

What makes our bot different?

There are two main things that make our bot unique compared to the other ones out there. First, it works on both Telegram and Messenger. We like to give you choice.

Second, there’s a personalization element right from the start that’s connected to your behavior on our website. If there are certain types of articles that you read more frequently on TechCrunch.com, we’ll use this data to serve up recommendations from within the bot. For example, if you always read Snapchat articles on TechCrunch, you are more likely to receive updates from our bot about Snapchat. This feature is something that no other Messenger bots currently have.

If you rarely visit TechCrunch.com or you regularly clear your cookies, the bot will send you the top stories of the day instead of the personalized ones. You can also subscribe to individual topics to personalize the experience even more (instead of relying on our personalization algorithm).

We teamed up with the folks at Chatfuel to make the magic happen, so a big thanks to them for all the help.

We’d love to hear your feedback on the bot in the comments section, so don’t be shy.

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