Facebook is challenging developers across the Middle East and Africa to create innovative bots through its Bots for Messenger Developer Challenge. The challenge aligns with Facebook’s commitment to promote innovation in the Middle East and Africa by providing developers and start-ups with the tools they need to build, grow, monetize, and measure products and services.
“Facebook grew out of a hacker culture and thrives by promoting innovation on new platforms. That’s why Facebook is launching the Bots for Messenger Challenge, a contest to recognize and reward developers who are able to create the most innovative new bots on Messenger,” stated the social media firm in a press release.
Developers, working in teams of up to three people, are invited to create bots in three categories: gaming and entertainment; productivity and utility; and social good.
The 60 finalist teams (10 per category in each region) will win 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 start-ups build and grow their bots.
All student teams who make it to the finals will win an additional US $2,000. The students will however be first verified against their registration via their government accredited school email accounts.
For each o the 6 regions, three runner-up teams (one from each category) will win US $10,000 and three months of Facebook mentorship.
For each region, three winning teams (one from each category) will win US $20,000 and three months of Facebook mentorship.
The submissions are open from today – February 15, 2017 – with entry submission deadline being April 28. Afterwards, finalists announced (30 teams each in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East/North Africa), will be announced on May 19. The deadline for entries from finalists is June 2.
Winners will be announced on June 19 (consisting of three winners and three runner up teams in the Middle East and North Africa; three winners and three runner up teams in Sub-Saharan Africa).
The entry guidelines and rules of the challenge are available online.