Nation Media Group builds first content chat bot in East Africa

By Daisy Okoti

Nation Media Group

Nairobi, Kenya


Nation Kiki is the first chat bot in East Africa to be used by a publisher. It instantly connects to Messenger and then straight to a user’s preferred news content from the Daily Nation Web site. In today’s world, where myriad content choices in the digital space create a whole new problem for digital users, Nation Kiki is the navigation solution many have been seeking.

Started in early 2017, the bot leverages traffic that comes to the Nation news site via social media, especially Facebook. This was part of our distributed content strategy — to create our presence on existing sites and meet audiences, as opposed to always waiting for the audience to come to us. Seventeen percent of Daily Nation’s traffic is from social media. The Messenger bot helps us engage with our existing user base and lets us provide our readers with a customised and personal news experience.

When visiting the Daily Nation Web site, readers simply click on the Nation Kiki icon, which launches Messenger and guides the reader through prompts to receive very personalised and relevant news alerts. Readers do not have to worry about being hit by topics that are not within their niche of interest or issues that they are not exactly keen on.


Chat bots are primarily used by ecommerce organisations and banks to provide customer care. Nation is the first publisher in East Africa to use the bot as a selection tool for content. The bot currently has 40,000 organic subscribers with at least 30,000 active daily users. This number is on a rising path.

Nation Kiki is built on Messenger, which has more than 900 million subscribers worldwide. This represents an ocean of possibilities! Messenger is wide reaching, familiar, and convenient with no additional costs for the reader.

The bot works seamlessly with Messenger on any device to make the experience nearly effortless for the user.
The bot works seamlessly with Messenger on any device to make the experience nearly effortless for the user.

Nation Kiki presents an alternative means of news transmission and proved especially important during a three-week television lockdown in Kenya. With no access to mainstream television, the importance of Nation Kiki was amplified. Users were able to sift through and highlight key topics from anywhere to receive notifications on the latest news in real time.

Another great aspect of Nation Kiki is that it does not involve sign-ups or other labourious protocols (PINs, passwords, etc.) to begin using it. The bot works on any device, and the switch to the bot is seamless with no additional time or effort for the user.

Nation Kiki then keeps our audience and followers engaged through automated alerts and conversations, prompts them to subscribe to news alerts, and lets them select not only the categories, but also the timing of alerts.

About Daisy Okoti

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