comScore Telegram Will Pay K For "Impressive" Bots | The Mary Sue

Want to Build a Chatbot? If It’s “Impressive” Enough, Telegram Will Give You $25K


After Microsoft and Facebook announced their own plans to focus on developing chatbots, messaging app Telegram has stepped into the ring by announcing a bot-making contest. Telegram promises a hefty prize for the developers who win: a $25,000 grant. Telegram plans to give away $1 million in total to bot-makers, meaning that there are 40 grants of $25,000 each to be distributed.

According to Telegram’s description of the contest, it sounds like you can enter as many bots as you want, and you might even be able to win more than one grant (the $25K prize is per bot, not per bot-maker). It sounds like you could make any type of bot you want, provided that it’s “impressive.” And it also doesn’t sound like you’ll be passing off the rights to your bots, either. Telegram writes, “What do we want in return? Nothing. That’s right, just support your creation and make your users happy.” So basically, you’ll have to support the continual upkeep of your bot, but it’ll still be yours.

Of course, the bot must be made using Telegram’s Bot API. It’s okay if you port it from a different platform, but “make sure it really feels at home in Telegram” before you submit it for the contest. Here are the rest of the rules:

  • It must be fast, just like the rest of Telegram’s interfaces.
  • It must be useful for at least a few people out there.
  • We like it when bots also work in inline mode.
  • Oh, and did we mention it must be fast?

If you’re any good at building bots, this sounds like a pretty good deal to me. You get to retain the rights to your creation, and you get a pretty impressive grant for your troubles! Just don’t forget to do your roboethics homework first.

(via The Next Web, image via Telegram)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (, and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (