Did Facebook Messenger just solve bot discovery?

Since messenger released their bot platform last year, people were demanding a way to easily discover bots. Many bot makers found it hard to acquire new users for their bot.

Yesterday Facebook launched a new feature for Messenger at F8, the Discovery Tab, which makes it easier to discover bots within Messenger. So the question is: Does the bot store help bot makers with bot discovery? Yes. Does it help you to gain traction? Probably not.

In my opinion there's a big misconception about the role of a bot store. Apparently many bot makers see the bot store as a holy grail of user acquisition. The hard truth is that no one is solving user acquisition or getting traction for you. Messenger already had great ways to discover bots before the Discovery Tab: short-links, Messenger Codes (now Parametric Codes), search for name or username, Messenger ads, Featured Bots and last but not least: the Facebook platform itself.

When we learned one thing from app stores, it's the fact that just putting an app to an official store doesn't do anything. There is no such magic acquisition channel which drives users to your product without any effort. You won't get any more traction or more users by just leaning back and waiting for users to magically discover your app or bot. That didn't work for the existing options which the Messenger platform did provide, neither will it for an official store.

So instead of waiting for someone else to solve user acquisition for you, get proactive and start building a great bot - because that's the foundation of getting traction.