In the run-up to Google I/O 2017 whose Keynote is currently underway, Google discreetly launched “Chatbase,” an analytics service for developers of chatbots looking to improve their creations. The service is technically live as of this writing though it isn’t freely accessible. Instead, interested developers are able to request access to Chatbase which the Mountain View-based tech giant will presumably grant on an individual basis. The main purpose of Chatbase isn’t to create bots from scratch — although it can also be used with that motivation — but to improve existing solutions by providing developers with a robust set of analytics and data that will help them identify and eliminate bad user experience with bots, something that’s plaguing many existing chatbots.
A representative of the Alphabet-owned company confirmed that Chatbase is being launched as an early access program later today, though it remains to be seen how long Google will take to move the service out of that development phase. Chatbase was developed by Hari Rajagopalan and Ofer Ronen, two Googlers who came to the company through a number of acquisitions. The project itself was funded by the company’s in-house Area 120 incubator that already yielded a number of experimental solutions. Seeing how Google has yet to mention Chatbase at its annual developer conference that’s currently underway, it’s possible that the firm still hasn’t decided on the direction of the project and is looking at it as an experimental development tool and not a product that it’s ready to offer to the entire dev community anytime soon. The platform is currently being tested by around a dozen major firms including eBay and Viber and is not to be mistaken for the ChatBase messaging app for Android devices that was previously developed independently of Google.
Among other things, Chatbase will be able to track user acquisition and retention rates, individual sessions, and failed attempts at communicating with chatbots, the latter of which is one of the key features of the service. It’s currently unclear when Google is planning to grant access to Chatbase to more developers, but an update on the matter will likely be available soon.