Remove Bot Mention Requirement
It seems as though currently all bots only work if you @mention them, so my assumption is that this is a requirement of the api used to develop the bots.
Many people from my organization are used to IRC/Slack style bots where an explicit @mention isn't required for bots to parse a message and respond.
Sometimes there is fun functionality that can be added for a lot of bots and having to @mention a bot really detracts from the user experience of some bots.
I can also see this getting out of hand when using a lot of bots, so this would probably be something that would go well in tandem with this suggestion: https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/18646108-bot-permissions-contract
This item is still on the backlog. I’ve received no further updates yet about this topic. I will continue to bring your feedback to the feature team.
Olivier Jacques commented
Indeed. Multiple use cases to allow bots to listen to activity in a room:
- Augmented conversations - add details when a bug or user story is mentioned
- Conversational User Experience: with the current implementation, I am not sure that conversational user experience (https://docs.botframework.com/en-us/, https://www.luis.ai/home/index) can actually be implemented. I have not tried though.
We currently use this in mattermost for integration with our ticketing system. For example, a mention of #ticket_number pulls metadata from our request tracker.
Its also a requirement if you want to bridge channels with external services. For example, we use matterbridge to connect a private channel to a partner's slack instance in order to have cross-site communication w/o creating accounts in both systems for every single person.
Jim Pruetting commented
With the mention requirement in place, bots are basically just custom slash commands. The real power of bots is when they can read, understand, and add value to conversations as they happen.
Caleb Meyer commented
You can get into an infinite loop with this (we had some good times on IRC back in the day playing our bots off of each other), but not if you only let bots hear real people.
Agree. Can think of so much more use case on real intelligent and automated bots of they can 'trigger' on text instead of mentioning.
I believe Slack does the same.
Colin Zhang commented
Agreed. This is a functional requirement for many Bot use cases. For example, my org has an internal Bot for Slack that copies conversations on bugs into our issue tracker as comments. This is currently not feasible to replicate in Teams (despite the threaded chat being better suited to issue-specific conversations!) due to the requirement of mentioning the Bot on every reply.
I've also noticed that this requirement limits the usefulness of some third party bots like the Meekan scheduler.