I created a Telegram Bot


#1

Not really a product per se, but yeah!

Telegram is an amazing, cross-platform, instant messaging service (not just an app). If you don’t already have it, you should download it.

Since I discovered Telegram a few weeks ago, I’ve seen several reasons why it should sit at the forefront of instant messaging in Africa – ahead of WhatsApp. Most of the reasons are related to their publicly available API used to create bots, which WhatsApp have refused to launch. Apart from lettiing you have unique usernames, their bots can do practically anything, including join in a group communication (that’s automatically a product forum & user community on your phone).

Well, I explored the API a little and created an RSS aggregator bot. It aggregates content from TechPoint, TechCabal, Zikoko, Party Jollof Rice, Iroko TV blog, Kamdora and Linda Ikeji. Gives you all the post on the blog posted on any particular day, from 12:00AM.

If you use Telegram (or after downloading), add @DailyGistBot and tell me what you think. I’m doing a detailed blog post on why businesses should drive their consumers to Telegram and away from WhatsApp.


#2

5 Stars! Looks really good!


#3

Yeah dude. Away from 800m users to 50m users.

That’s a no brainer though


#4

Nope. Not likely happening. But props for effort.


#5

Cool. I tried it out. You plan to open source the code? If no, could you state language, platform or any other tech details?


#6

Thanks.

Either that or somehow WhatsApp decides to release an official API. But if WhatsApp decide that they won’t release any official API for long enough, I think it’s inevitable that Telegram would become the preferred messaging platform for some particular use cases. Use cases that tilt more towards business-oriented messaging.

I didn’t even think of that yet, but yeah I could. I’ll have to clean-up the codes and take out my Bot ID first though. As regards technology, I built it using regular C# and hosted on my Windows Azure using WebJob. Script does a regular long polling to Telegram servers to pick-up & process messages sent by users

I should probably put the code on my BitBucket soon and share.


#7

Its not working here.


#8

Sorry.

I freeloaded the bot on a free web app on Windows Azure. So in the nature of how Windows Azure treats free web apps, it shuts down the server when they’re idle. I’ve scaled it up to the basic plan and set it to “always on” so it won’t go off anymore.

I don’t intend to keep it in this state for too long, because it’s incurring costs and this bot is built just for proof of concept. So I’d soon switch the website back to the free service.

BTW, you should get a rush of replies right about now, post the screenshot of that too.


#9

It works! Great here


#10

Good effort… Props!


#11

https://app.ongair.im have a pretty robust WhatsApp API


#12

https://wha.tools/ does too, but WhatsApp has issued a cease and desist order to them. See: https://twitter.com/Whatools/status/628681938346340352.

Until WhatsApp release an official API, it’s risky to build a business around any one currently in operations.