8 Best Chatbot APIs to Use in 2023

December 27, 2022
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Chatbots have taken the digital world by storm, powering conversations and driving customer engagement at scale. However, not all chatbots are equal.

Some answer questions with on-brand character and flair, while others waste your customers’ time and have about as much personality as Clippy (the former Microsoft Office Assistant).

Ideally, you want a chatbot that's helpful and an extension of your brand. Fortunately, you have plenty of options when bringing that reality to life. Below, we'll walk you through a list of our favorite chatbot APIs in 2023.

What is a chatbot API?

A chatbot API is an application programming interface that lets you connect your messaging channels (SMS, webchat, WhatsApp, and social media messengers) with chatbot software and features. This empowers your tailor-made chatbot to interact with customers on various websites and platforms.

Businesses have built various chatbot APIs to handle numerous use cases. Some do a better job at answering questions, while others provide sophisticated marketing and sales functionality.

Advanced chatbots use natural language processing (NLP) to have more organic conversations with your customers. And while not a complete replacement for a real-life agent, these are often convincing enough for curious consumers to question if it's a real person.

8 best chatbot APIs in 2023

First, determine what you need your chatbot to do. Do you need one for a specific platform? What requests do you want it to handle and filter? The answers to these questions will help you determine which chatbot API is right for your business.

1. Twilio Studio

Twilio Studio lets you build a friendly, conversational chatbot that can respond to incoming messages, chat with customers, and process orders. It's a visual no-code workflow builder that you can use to build chatbots over SMS, webchat, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.

Watch this tutorial to learn how you can build a barista chatbot your customers can use to order a coffee.

2. Facebook Messenger API

Facebook provides a free API for its Messenger application that can interact with users in groups or chats. These bots can handle specific requests, post in groups, and send notifications in chat.

You can configure your Facebook Messenger chatbot to answer real-time questions and perform actions requested in the comment box. Check out Facebook's documentation to learn more about getting started with NLP on the platform.

3. Slack bot API

Slack's bot API lets you build chatbots to communicate with customers and handle trivial tasks. These can do everything from onboarding a user to handling to-do lists to chatting.

You can give your bot a name, image, and even a profile in your directory. Then, allow users to chat with them through direct messages or specific channels and conversations to handle requests. You can also program your bot to automatically post messages and reminders to members on Slack and add interactive components like buttons, polls, and links to your messages.

The free version of Slack's bot has limited features, so you'll need to upgrade to a higher tier to unlock more functionality.

4. Bot Libre

Bot Libre is a free, open-source platform for building live chatbots. You can use these chatbots on your mobile applications, websites, social media accounts, SMS, email, and connected internet of things (IoT). These can work with Alexa, Google Home, and even the Metaverse.

It also provides functionality for creating 3D animations and video avatars of yourself or your business persona, which you can use on your website to interact with customers. And while no one will mistake them for a human, there’s no denying the fun, innovative layer of creativity of the chatbot experience.

5. Google Chat API

Google's Chat API lets you communicate with customers over chat. Its most powerful functionality comes from its integrations with Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and other Google applications, allowing your bot to quickly answer questions with data-backed resources.

The bot is free to use, but it's not the most sophisticated API.

6. ChatBot API

ChatBot uses a natural language understanding framework to help you create intelligent bots that integrate with your messaging applications. These bots can handle requests, carry on conversations, and interact with rich messages and images.

The more you train the bots, the smarter (and more helpful) these get. You can also track your bot's activities to teach it to improve, helping you increase its intelligence over time. ChatBot also works smoothly with Slack, Facebook, and LiveChat.

You can start a 14-day free trial to test ChatBot, but the monthly pricing will set you back a minimum of $52 per month, with prices scaling as high as $424 per month.

7. Crisp Chat

Crisp lets you build a chatbot with a visual editor, as a no-code way to create workflows and empower your business with 24/7 conversations. Your chatbot can work as a lead-generation tool to gather emails and phone numbers from customers, and you can even integrate Crisp with Twilio to begin conversations over SMS.

8. Wit.ai

Wit.ai uses artificial intelligence to train its chatbots to identify tone, intent, and implied meaning. These chatbots can understand emotions and frustrations, allowing them to respond appropriately in various situations.

You can get started for free with the Wit.ai API.

Use Twilio's Conversations API to drive engagement

Twilio's Conversations API lets you integrate once and scale conversations across a flexible messaging platform. Plus, you can create multiparty or one-to-one conversations across your customers' preferred channels:

  • SMS
  • MMS
  • Chat
  • WhatsApp
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Google Business Messages

Ready to integrate your chatbot API with Twilio to drive improved conversations and experiences with your customers at scale? Try it for yourself by signing up for a free Twilio account.