Take 10

A not-so-social messenger bot that gets you off Facebook

facebook messenger bot node.js javascript weekend project


It’s live! Try it now on Messenger or check out the source code.


A screenshot talking to Take 10

Since they launched a whole platform in April, Facebok has fostered enthusiasm around these automated assistants. They see a future where you get all your news alerts, buy flowers, make dinner reservations and plan entire trips through a message window on facebook.com.

So over the weekend I took a stab at making my own Facebook bot. Unlike most others, it aims to get you off Facebook–in that vein it may be the first anti-social Messenger bot. It follows a simple flow:

  • Tell it for how long you wanna procrastinate
    • It’s gotta be under 10 minutes
  • After that amount of time, it’ll suggest you get back to work
  • It’ll continue yelling at you as long as you keep reading the messages it sends (because you’re clearly still on Facebook procrastinating)
  • It knows a slacker from a hard worker. So when you return to Facebook later it’ll prompt you for a new procrastination duration.

I have two .js files that convert between words and numbers. Initially, I wrote duration.js in a JSFiddle. I’ve cleaned it up a bit since, but you can play around with the word parsing here:

It’s simple–I imagine that making a talking-adverse bot is far simpler than the alternative. Facebook makes it incredibly easy incorporate with messenger, and this guide by Jerry Wang provided much of the connection logic.

I made the project open source, so you can view the code on GitHub.


TL;DR

When you’re not ordering flowers and stopping crime with other Messenger bots, I hope that Take 10 keeps you productive.