In late June 2016, Microsoft and Skype combined forces to throw a bot hackathon at Skype’s offices in Palo Alto. The event was designed to showcase Skype’s developer platform which simplifies the creation of bots for engineers . The hackathon was also the impetus for the creation of the Stubhub Skype bot. The company also plans to make a Stubhub Facebook bot in the near future.
StubHub engineers Pablo Flores and Carlos Lopez built a StubHub Skype bot that won first place in the “Productivity Bot” category, beating out other contenders like Skyscanner and Hipmunk. Stubhub enables users to easily find tickets to unique and memorable events by musical artists, athletes, performances, and other experience creators.
The engineers had already built a proof of concept on Kik, another social messaging platform popular with teens. Skype’s platform offered an opportunity to reach different users and participate in group messages.
Group messages are key since events are often discussed and planned with multiple friends. The company handles 30 million ticket sales a year, but traditionally ends the user experience after ticket purchases. Stubhub’s Skype bot is the beginning of new strategy for the company, according to Head of Product Strategy, Gary Kanazawa.
In an interview with VentureBeat, Kanazawa shared StubHub’s new vision: “If you look at StubHub in the past, people have gone out there and bought tickets, but that’s kind of where their experience with StubHub ends. As you look at where we’re going now, we’re really all about being able to not just stop the experience there but to discover the events you want to go to, finding which friends of yours might be interested in being able to attend with you, helping to facilitate the planning to make it easy to go out.”
Interested in planning an event with friends? Why not try StubHub for Skype? The company doesn’t have a Stubhub Facebook bot at the moment, but hopes to build one soon.
Have you used StubHub’s bot? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!