Facebook has launched the Bots for Messenger Developer Challenge, asking developers in Africa and the Middle East to create innovative bots for Messenger with US$20,000 on offer to six winning teams.
The Bots for Messenger Challenge invites teams – of up to three people – to develop innovative bots for Messenger in three categories: gaming and entertainment; productivity and utility; and social good.
As shortlist of 60 teams will be selected as finalists; 30 from sub-Saharan Africa, and 30 from the Middle East and North Africa – with 10 selected across each category. These finalists will receive a Gear VR and mobile phone, one hour of Facebook mentorship, and tools and services from FbStart, a Facebook programme designed to help early stage mobile startups build and grow their bots. Student finalists will also receive US$2,000 per team.
For both regions, one team from each category will be named runner up, receiving US$10,000 and three months of Facebook mentorship.
Three overall winners will be selected from each region (one from each category), awarded with US$20,000 and six months of Facebook mentorship.
To be eligible, bots must be created using the Messenger Platform API, and adhere to the Messenger Platform developer guidelines.
Bots will be judged on how well it uses the Messenger platform features; its degree of excellence, taking into account its distinctive attributes and characteristics; and user experience.
Submissions are open here, until April 28. All bots entered must be created during this period.