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New concierge bot lets beauty fans shop with friends


WATERLOO, Ontario -- The maker of chat platform Kik is launching a beauty category for its bot shop, which makes shopping more social on Kik.

The beauty category joins existing categories such as Fashion, Entertainment, New and Noteworthy, Lifestyle, and Games. The new category includes a mix of branded and brand-agnostic "concierge" bots, and users can now include multiple bots in chats with friends for a better overall shopping experience. 

Since April, brands in Kik's Bot Shop have seen high engagement from Kik's teen demographic, with more than 2 billion messages exchanged with the platform's bots to date.

"Shopping is a social experience, and our new fashion and beauty category will allow our users to experience all the elements of the shopping journey—discovery, research, and sharing—with their friends," said Ted Livingston, founder and CEO of Kik. "This provides a more direct way for brands to connect with teens in their native environment and demonstrates how services continue to evolve in chat."

Bots in the new beauty category also display new chat functionality. Previously, users could call bots into conversations using mentions, a feature that allows bots to participate in conversation threads involving multiple parties, including groups. For example, when searching for a specific product in the Sephora bot, Sephora can now introduce a concierge bot such as BeautyTube to provide tips and how-to videos specific to the chat and the product, creating a better shopping experience. Users will also be able to leverage features such as invites to ask friends for fashion and beauty advice while simultaneously chatting with a bot.

The following bots will provide makeup tips, fashion recommendations, and celebrity style inspiration:

  • Branded bots include H&M, Kipling, Sephora, and Victoria's Secret PINK. These bots give teens direct access to their favorite brands, where they can browse new styles, get outfit and makeup recommendations and be directed to the brand's mobile site, all within the bot.

  • Concierge bots include BeautyTube, which provides personally recommended beauty tutorial videos; CelebStyle, which showcases the latest celebrity fashion styles from Gigi Hadid, Kylie and Kendall Jenner, Zendaya, and more; InspoBot, which recommends outfits for any and all occasions; and TrendBot, which provides the hottest trending styles and outfits. CelebStyle, InspoBot, and TrendBot were created with Stylitics.

  • Influencer bots include YouTubers GettingPretty, JackieWyers, MissMikaylaG, PiinkSparkles, ThatGirlShaeXo, and TheMakeupByDanielle. These bots can provide teens with beauty advice and also facilitate chats between fans.  

Kik also launched the Beautycon bot on Sept. 13 and is collaborating with Beautycon for its New York festival on Oct. 1. 

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