Poncho on Messenger!

Time to let the cat out of the bag! Here’s Poncho’s big news: At the Facebook F8 conference, we officially launched the Poncho bot on Facebook Messenger. Waiter, bring us your finest emoji. We’re celebrating!

WOOHOO! Wait, what does that even mean?

First up, Poncho is a weathercat from Brooklyn. He sends you personal weather forecasts wherever you are in the US, whenever you want them…with funny GIFs and pop culture observations rather than boring things like humidity indexes. Vanity Fair said, “It’s like being pals with the weatherman” — we would just add, yes, if your weatherman happened to be a cool cat in a yellow hoodie.

Until today, you could only check our iOS app and receive texts or emails from Poncho. But now you can chat with him for a more personalized experience.

Since we launched Poncho, people have always wanted to talk to him, whether that’s via Twitter, SMS or email. On Messenger, now you and millions of others can.

Once you’ve added Poncho, you can get your forecast, ask questions and shoot the breeze. Just like you would with any of your friends.

So…what are we gonna talk about?

Breaking the ice is hard. Have you tried asking about the weather? Poncho will give you your personal forecast but you can ask follow-up questions like: “Is it going to rain tomorrow?”, “How much pollen is there?” or “Is it gross out?”

Some other favorite conversation starters are “What should I watch?”

or, “Avocado!”

How else can you and Poncho spend time together? Poncho advises taking things one day at a time, since he is always learning and refreshing his content. In the coming days, weeks and months, you might learn a new language with the cat translator! Compare horoscopes! Or even go on a date! But no matter what, he’ll maintain his trademark wit and weather wisdom.

But what’s the difference between Poncho and those other bots?

Well, Poncho’s not a robot…he’s a weathercat! He doesn’t pretend to know everything and, to be honest, there are things that simply don’t interest him. So if you ask him about God or the upcoming election, don’t be surprised if you get a catty response. You’d be better off asking him about the best way to grab a cat nap or if you should wear those fancy suede shoes out in the rain.

We know you only have time for so many friends, real or automated. Our goal is to make sure that Poncho has the qualities of the best kind of friend: equal parts entertaining, useful and feline. Poncho is ready to tell you about a great new band he likes, remind you to wear a raincoat, purr when you’re nice and call you out for being annoying.

I see. But why build a bot on Messenger at all?

Poncho has always specialized in quick and light information that comes to you when and how you want it. We call this thin content. Our goal as a company is to bring this kind of thin content to the next generation of platforms as they arise. Poncho on Messenger is a collaboration between a bunch of really smart engineers who make the software work and an equally smart bunch of writers and designers who make Poncho funny and cool.

We are working on new features for the email, text and mobile app incarnations of Poncho (in fact, our awesome Android app is only weeks away). Poncho will be there for you in any form you want him. But humans love to chat. And they love cats. So there you are.

Cool. What’s next?

We want you to find Poncho to be genuine, funny, a “real” friend, and a part of your daily routine. So reach out to Poncho on Messenger and see how it goes. Let him know what you think. Because while you can’t change people, or cats, you can improve an artificially intelligent weathercat, and isn’t that the dream?

Love,

Team Poncho

New York City

P.S. Questions? me+press@poncho.is

P.P.S. Want to partner with us? me+partnerships@poncho.is

P.P.P.S. Want to work for us? me+jobs@poncho.is

P.P.P.P.S. Flowers? For us? You shouldn’t have!