The J-14 team then experimented with trivia, tapping into its fan base’s deep knowledge and interest in celebrities. Users responded more positively to the new concept. Sixty percent of its readers take more than one quiz, and 11% take five or more.
The bots offer other advantages over Facebook and other platforms, which curtail reach based on an algorithm.
Kik “is a push rather than a pull environment,” said Josh Jacobs, president of Kik Services. “Just like a friend, you have the ability to initiate contact.”
Because of the success of its trivia bot, J-14 added more quizzes to user feeds. It’s amassed an audience in the mid-six digits, Mezzafonte said.
Within the next three months, J-14 will explore monetization. It’s testing ideas that create a “very integrated and contextual ad experience that goes beyond straight-up display units,” Mezzafonte said.
Drumming up demand will mean finding partners willing to go first.
“At this point in time, the ability to scale in bots is an unknown for an advertiser,” she added.
Kik plans to have a commerce component, with a Kik currency, as well as advertising. That may involve charging for some content, for example.
“They are a really good example of somebody who is going to be able to incorporate advertising and commerce over time,” Jacobs said.
While Kik has thousands of bots in its app store, few come from publishers. Funny or Die and Yahoo launched bots, but Jacobs wants more publishers to enter the green fields of chatbots.
“The next wave of your readers are in chat,” Jacobs said.