Make News Great Again: Introducing TrumpChat on Kik

The U.S. presidential election is one of the biggest news stories of 2016, but it can be difficult to keep up. At Mic, we aim to bring our readers up to speed while not boring them — they want coverage to be short, and they want it in a voice.

Today we’re launching TrumpChat on Kik. The bot delivers interactive news snippets in Donald Trump’s Twitter voice, arguably one of the most compelling voices on the internet right now:

At Mic, we’re fortunate to have a sensationally gifted Trump impersonator, Luke Brinker, as our policy editor. We’re turning to Luke’s talents to power our election news bot. Every weekday, Luke chooses the three top election stories and packages them in TrumpSpeak like the one above. Tremendous!

We’re using Trump’s voice to entertain, but also to adapt our coverage to the psychological context of messaging apps. People use messaging apps primarily to interact with friends and family, whose voices are familiar and fun. What’s interesting is that our texting voices are imperfect translations of our real voices. Messaging apps have their own interaction conventions and constraints, which gives rise to personalities specific to that medium. Some people are just better at texting than others. Bots that inhabit messaging apps will have to play this language game well.

With TrumpChat, even error statements get the TrumpSpeak treatment:

We’re launching TrumpChat on Kik because Kik’s user base aligns demo- and psychographically with our readership, and because Kik’s public bot API allows us to spin up new bots quickly and get data back easily.

The next steps are to serve news stories directly inside the conversation, rather than linking out, and to see which stories especially resonate with Kik users.

We’re live on Kik now! Check us out in the Kik bot store or scan the code below:

And check it out on Product Hunt!

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