Manchester City becomes first football club to launch Facebook Messenger bot

Manchester City has become the first football club to launch a bot on Facebook Messenger, feeding fans news around the team.

Messenger bots: Man City becomes the first football club to launch a Facebook bot
Messenger bots: Man City becomes the first football club to launch a Facebook bot

A user who searches for the club on Messenger and subscribes to its updates can follow news about transfers, new manager Pep Guardiola and what other social media users are saying.

As well as news, the bot will push out photos, behind-the-scenes videos, phone wallpapers and match highlights.

Unlike more customer service-oriented bots from retail and publishing brands, Manchester City’s bot does not respond to questions.

Its commands appear to be limited to ‘list’, which shows which news topics a user can subscribe to, and ‘unsubscribe’.

It is not clear how efficient the bot might be at pushing out news compared to CityApp, the club’s official app. At more than 100,000 downloads and a high rating on the app stores, itis likely most fans will receive the majority of club news on mobile via the app.

Diego Gigliani, the club’s senior vice president of media and innovation, noted the rise of Asian fans and the growing importance of messaging platforms as a marketing tool.

He said: "We are delighted to announce another digital first for Manchester City. Messaging platforms have huge global audiences and our fans all over the world are spending more and more time on them.

"Messaging apps are on the path to becoming one of the most important ways of delivering content directly into fans’ hands, as seen already in China with WeChat, and we wanted City fans to be the first to benefit from this experience on Facebook Messenger."

Manchester City was unable to comment on whether or not it worked with a partner to build the bot.


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