Facebook has launched its Bots for Messenger Developer Challenge in Africa and the Middle East, challenging developers to create innovative bots and compete for US$20,000 in prize money.
Submissions for the challenge are open until April, with 30 finalists to be selected and winners named on 19 June.
Facebook said the Bots for Messenger Developer Challenge aligned with its commitment to promote innovation in the Middle East and Africa by providing developers and start-ups with the tools they need to build, grow, monetise, and measure products and services.
The company recently held the Internet.org Innovation Challenge, awarding six start-ups from across Africa a total of US$500,000 in prize money.
“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 recognise and reward developers who are able to create the most innovative new bots on Messenger,” Facebook said.
Developers, 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
Three winning teams will win US$20,000 and three months of Facebook mentorship, with runner-up teams taking home US$10,000. All finalists will win a Gear VR and mobile phone, one hour of Facebook mentorship, and tools and services from FbStart.