Telegram: ExpenseBot & DoodlerBot

Liberapay

In 2015, the Telegram messenger announced their Bots. Basically they are pieces of software that act like a normal chat user in many ways. They could have any functionality, from being helpful at daily tasks to even simple games or trivias – all within an ordinary Telegram chat. You send them message, they give answers – some more and some less intelligent. Recently, also other companies – like Facebook or Microsoft – announced such bots for their messaging apps. Sometimes bots are even considered kind of the next step after native (web-) applications in the future.

From a developer’s perspective, making a bot is fun, because there are almost no restrictions on how to develop your bot. All communication with Telegram works by requesting a single REST API provided by them. Choices like which programming language and -framework to use and how to structure the code are completely up to the developer. A Telegram bot can theoretically be built in any programming language. The only requirements are to be able to make HTTP request from the application and to have a server to host the bot on.

I’ve recently created two bots for Telegram that should each help with a daily task.

ExpenseBot – Keep track of your finances

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This bot’s purpose is to help people manage their daily expenses and keep track of their financial situation. Users can add expenses from wherever they are using a few simple commands from within the chat and have an eye on how much they have spent in a month or a day. This obviates the need for confusing Excel spreadsheets or paper notes. You can reach the bot by sending a Message to @ExpenseBot in Telegram.

DoodlerBot – Coordinate group appointments

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My second bot helps users coordinate a group of people and find the right date for a common appointment, just like you might know from doodle.com (even though it doesn’t have anything to do with that commercial service, except for fulfilling the same need). Open a new doodle and let your mates in the group chat vote for their preferred date to finally make the best decision for everyone. You can reach the bot by sending a Message to @DoodlerBot in Telegram.

Both projects are completely independent, non-commercial and privately operated. If you have any questions our found a bug (both bots are still in beta phase and therefore might show some unexpected behavior), please contact me at @n1try or via e-mail. In both cases, you should first read a basic introduction on how to use the respective bot, by sending a message with /help to it.

In case you like my bots, I’d be really happy if you rated them at https://storebot.me/bot/expensebot and https://storebot.me/bot/doodlerbot. Have fun!