When it comes to Twitter, the term “bot” can be a little tricky, and this could be why, despite all the hype around chatbots on platforms like Facebook Messenger, Kik, Slack and Skype, Twitter’s own effort concerning chatbots have stayed more or less under the radar.  But this isn’t going to be the case any longer.

On April 6th, Twitter officially opened up its developer tools, allowing any business or individual can create a chatbot that can send and receive direct messages through the social network, just like through Messenger.

Because of this, this steps up the rivalry between Twitter and Messenger when it comes to being the social platform of choice for brands to handle private communications with customers.  This firmly steps Twitter into the chatbot market that they’ve been toying with since last year.

Testing options for some brands to automate their direct message conversations began last November, which introduced welcome messages that would automatically greet people starting a DM thread with a brand’s Twitter account, as well as menuses of pre-formatted reply buttons that people could tap to communicate with a brand  These features were introduced into Messenger earlier this year for chatbots on its platform as something to help break in bot-to-human interactions.

But Twitter’s automated DM features had primarily been available to brands with approved access or that used marketing software from approved companies like Sprinklr, Sprout Social or Spredfast, since November.

This is not the case any longer.

Anybody who is registered as a developer with Twitter will be able to create programs that plug into Twitter’s automated DM features to do things like set and customize a welcome message.  You can automatically send and receive direct messages, including the pre-formatted quick replies.

Source –