Facebook has selected 60 finalists from the hundreds of entries it received from across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) for the Bots for Messenger Developer Challenge. The Bots for Messenger Challenge is a contest to recognize and reward developers who create the most innovative new bots on Messenger.
Developers, in teams of up to three people, were invited to create bots in three categories: gaming and entertainment; productivity and utility; and social good.
The 60 finalist teams (10 per category in Middle East/North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa) each won a Gear VR and mobile phone, one hour of Facebook mentorship, and tools and services from FbStart, a Facebook program designed to help early stage mobile startups build and grow their bots. All student teams who made it to the finals won an additional USD 2000.
Facebook will contact the finalists and connect them with a mentor. They will need to resubmit their bots on June 2 to qualify to win. For each region, three runner-up teams, one from each category, will win USD 10,000 and three months of Facebook mentorship. For each region, three winning teams, one from each category, will win USD 20,000 and three months of Facebook mentorship.
“Facebook thrives on promoting innovation. We launched the Bots for Messenger Challenge with the aim of rewarding entrepreneurs and developers for harnessing the power of bots. We were overwhelmed to receive over 1000 entries over two and a half months for the challenge. Each entry solves a problem in an inventive way or enriching the lives of its target user,” said Emeka Afigbo, Head of Platform Partnerships, Facebook MEA.