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Why we built Ralli

Ralli began as a pretty simple Facebook Messenger bot. Learn about what motivated us to build out the whole Ralli chat platform.

We thought it might be interesting to look back on where we've come from, and tell the story of how Ralli came about. This is the story of how we got to where we are today, and why we decided to build a platform for connecting businesses with their customers.

Conversational Commerce

We started out many years ago building a platform for customers to chat with their local businesses. This all started when our cofounder was out shopping for a new TV, and had to drive to every store in the city to compare models. He thought up this idea for a new platform when you could start a conversation by saying "I'm looking for a new TV" and giving some details of what your looking for, and broadcasting that to your local businesses who could then reply with messages and product offers.

The next evolution

This product was built before messaging platforms really took off in the way they have today, and while it drove good usage for a while and businesses had great experiences using the product, it didn't catch on enough for us to continue pursuing it long term. One day while kicking around ideas, we thought about how you could build a similar experience on top of Facebook Messenger, and after digging through their documentation, we had some ideas to play around with.

The first prototype

The first version of what would eventually become Ralli was thus born. It started out purely as a Facebook Messenger integration, where a user could message a business and be automatically assigned to a user, much in the same way things work today, but was very undercooked and still had a long way to go. After we hacked together this first version, we worked with a car yard who set the prototype up with their Facebook Page, and got their employees responding to people using the app. It all seemed to work pretty well!

Building the platform

We finally decided that this was an idea worth pursing, and so we doubled down on building this into a real product. We initially focused on building the solution for Facebook Messenger and built up a large portion of the product exclusively around that. Some of our customers though wanted to be able to have live chat on their website, and have it integrate with the Facebook product we'd already built so that everything lived together. That's when we started building out our Website Chat Plugin, and evolved the platform into what it is today!

The ongoing journey

We're not done yet! We still have so many ideas about where Ralli can go and we're always looking forward to what we'll be building next. Do you have any great ideas for what you want to see in Ralli? Send us an email at hello@ralli.app - we'd love to hear from you.

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