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Meet Newschatta a Nigerian Developed chatbot for the BBC news

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I think I should call 2017 – 20BOT17,  The year has started with the bot theme, bots everywhere, money bots, chat bots, customer care bots and many are still in development mode, Recently facebook also launched their Bot competition for the Asia and African region.

Early last year BBC Connected Studio and the BBC World Service launched an open submission competition in Lagos, February 2016.  This had a couple of developers and startups apply and Codulab happened to be one of them.

Codulab a group of developers came up with a Newsbot for the BBC NewsChatta, This chatbot is a service for mobile phones which generates news stories based on the users’ input, using keywords and topics to send relevant news stories to them via the WeChat Messenger app.

The second Pilot idea was from a company know as Isoventurian that designs a  user experience for this pilot, and user research has led to more targeted clustering of tagged content.  This is still a prototype that’s  expected later this year whose idea is to curate big news stories using multiple sources, which can then be presented to users with a compelling mix of content navigable by time and relevance.

“Newschatta is a chatbot that provides news content in a more personalized manner to young people across Africa. The aim is to deliver the latest news contents to users in a timely and interesting way that fits into the users’ current daily digital routines. Newschatta is targeted at young people in Africa aged between 16 and 34, living in urban areas. This audience has a high mobile use, not just for calls and social networking purposes, but for other aspects of their life such as emailing, banking, playing games and reading news.” says Stanley Ojadovwa, the Product Developer at Codulab

says Stanley Ojadovwa, the Product Developer at Codulab.

Just a Brief of how NewsChatta works:

Users select topics or keywords via the WeChat Messenger App and will then see the chosen news based on these choices for them to read and share.

Technical stuff:
Newschatta can be accessed around the world. As well as being accessed through WeChat, the app collects news content from across the BBC. The aggregation and tagging are made possible using BBC Juicer – a tool created by BBC News Labs, which takes in news sources from across the globe and automatically tags specific topics.

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