Always wanted a pet but never got to have one? Now’s your chance.
Yahoo has launched MonkeyPet, a virtual pet monkey that you can access via Facebook Messenger. MonkeyPet reminds us of Tamagotchi pets (remember those things?) in that you can name and feed it, but has much more interactive features. And of course, we had to try it.
To get your own MonkeyPet, just search @MonkeyPet on Facebook and strike up a conversation to adopt it. We named our monkey George. After saying our hellos, George informs us that we have to keep sending food emojis to keep him happy so he can travel around the world and send us selfies. Is it okay to be jealous of a globetrotting cartoon monkey?
He also tells us that he has allergies, and if not fed, he could die from neglect. The realisation that we are now responsible for the life of a virtual creature dawns on us, and a wave of anxiety passes through. After calming ourselves down, we feed the monkey — a banana to start.
Naturally, George really likes bananas. We find out he also likes tempura shrimp, noodle soup and bread, but is allergic to burgers. When he’s fed, George shares GIFs of himself, his travel selfies, along with nuggets of wisdom like “Me think life one big eating trip”. We feel you, George.
Since he is a monkey, George’s (or whatever your monkey’s name is) English can be choppy at times. But it shouldn’t be an issue since you’ll be conversing with him in emoji-speak most of the time.
Like Siri, you can also ask him questions, but he may not be able to answer all of them. We asked George if he's a fan of Game of Thrones, and he haughtily replied, "Me rather chat with friends than watch TV". Good for you, George.
Also, while Facebook Messenger supports stickers and GIFs, MonkeyPet is not able to process them at this time. As a young cyber monkey, George has much more to learn.
Besides MonkeyPet, Yahoo has also released three other less fun but very practical chat bots. Stay on top of the stock market with Yahoo Finance, get the latest in current affairs from Yahoo News and find out if you need an umbrella for the day with Yahoo Weather. Like MonkeyPet, just search for the bots on Facebook and start talking.
So, what do these new online pets/assistants mean for Yahoo? While we don’t think anyone will be saying “Let’s Yahoo that” instead of “Let’s Google that” anytime soon, they sure make looking for information and interacting with someone (or something, in this case), a lot more interesting.
Find MonkeyPet here, or search for any of the chat bots on Facebook Messenger, available on desktop, iOS and Android.