automation, chatbots, data journalism, journalism, social media

How to: build a Telegram bot with Chatfuel

Telegram holds official bots and displays easy settings that help users without developing skills to build basic chatbots. On this previous post, I explained how I created three different bots through commands, menus, and submenus.

However, there are other tools that speed up the development of chatbots. For instance, Chatfuel. This platform runs the bot through an API Key, and administrators can create buttons and menus for a quick navigation.

I tested this platform creating a bot for the Noda and Tutki16 conference in Helsinki last April. This example acts similar to a channel, where subscribers receive notifications and news from several data streams:


On this post, I explain how to build it in three steps:

1. Create a new bot on @Botfather

Open @Botfather on Telegram and enter /newbot. Choose a name, a description and a profile picture that explains what the bot does. Copy the API token that it will give you.

2. Open @Chatfuel and paste the API token

@Chatfuel will ask you to paste the API token given by @Botfather. Once this is done, you are set as the main administrator of this bot and they will give you a link to start customising it:

Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 11.38.13

Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 11.38.35

Noda bot

3. Customise your bot

Now you can start sending messages to subscribers, auto posting content from Twitter, Instagram or RSS, or get an API key to use on Zapier and IFTTT.

Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 11.44.35

API key for IFTTT and Zapier

Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 11.49.05

Auto posting content from Twitter


Integrating it with IFTTT and Zapier makes this platform useful and easy for people who want to convey specific content and data through a single channel. Both websites contain a wide range of options to synchronise devices and tools and store data in a single window.

Do you have more examples? Let me know in the comments or at @mcrosasb 










Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s