The Simple Feature That Most Bot Devs Want, But Platforms Weirdly Don’t Support

I’ve been cranking away on GrowthBot (a chatbot for marketing and sales).

It works on Slack. It works on Facebook Messenger. It works on twitter.

But, there’s one super-simple feature that none of these bot platforms support. Something that would make the UX of my bot so much better.

It’s not carousels (Facebook has that).

It’s not interactive buttons (Slack and Facebook have that).

It’s the lack of including links with anchor text (the equivalent of the <a> tag in HTML) in messages.

As a result, whenever I need to include a link in the output of a message (like the reference to a blog post), the message to the user shows the whole (often super-ugly) URL.

I’m not exactly sure why the platforms don’t support it. They support link buttons. They even support link “previews” with dynamically generated thumbnails of the website the link points to. But not a simple link with anchor text.

Hopefully, some day, they’ll get around to doing this. In the meantime, ugly URLs it is. Sorry.