Media is hyping the AI part because it is catchy, but using mostly/only quick replies and buttons gives a much better UX IMHO. So, fully agree with #4.
There are only a handful of cases where text actually reduces friction instead of increasing it. Entering a date, for example : "in 1h", "tomorrow morning" or "next friday" is really faster than other input types.
For most other cases, Messenger bots just got access to webviews. Really under-utilized so far, I think.
The default emoji in a conversation can be changed by either side, on demand. So don't be surprised if suddenly you start getting a scared cat, or a tomato, instead of a 369239263222822. Why would people change the default emoji when talking to a bot? Why not?
Hint #2: default emojis can be sent in several sizes, depending on how long the user holds the "send emoji" button. From what I can tell, 369239263222822 is a small like. There are at least two other sizes. This is not some obscure feature, people use it all the time, so be prepared.
In general, it's worth to pay attention to details of the platform one's developing for ;).
Having a delay therefore sounds like the right thing to do: you can also trigger the (...) in Messenger as your bot is preparing the answer.
I see chatbots being used from gaming to financial advising, not I am pessimistic on the AI side of it or the bot being able to chat to you as if it were a real human being. My gut feeling is that chatbots will become extremely specialised and may excel in a given domain.
This is a cool concept though!
For example, if your previous message contains 100 words, and the current message to be sent contains only 10 words, you still want a long delay -- you're catering it to the user reading the long message. Similarly, if your previous message was short and the next one is long, the delay doesn't have to be long because otherwise you're just making the user wait for no reason.
Slack offered buttons shortly after I started work, so I switched from trying to interpret text to offering clear buttons instead, and yeah it makes a huge difference. I know I was into MUDs a whole lot in my youth, but folks today expect a more intuitive interface.
It's nice to see I'm not the only one interested in bringing a little levity to the world of chat bots!
One improvement: it's standard practice in text adventures to have a uniform set of commands and shortcuts. For example, 'i' is a common shortcut for 'inventory' but your bot doesn't know what I mean. Similarly, 'x' is short for 'eXamine', and 'n', 'w', 's', 'e' are the compass directions.
I do that! When you open a conversation with a bot sometimes you don't know what the bot expects you to do to start a conversation, so instead of writing gibberish and expect a help text, I tap "like" because it's only one tap.