Back in October 2017, I soft-launched a Swedish clone of the lovely Twitter chatbot NYPL Emoji Bot. Basically it is a node app listening to Twitter mentions aimed at @Emojimuseet which 1) checks if there’s an emoji in the tweet, and if there is 2) replies with a URL pulled from a static JSON file. There’s also a ”status” script that tweets a random emoji with matching URL which can be run by a cron job at regular intervals.

The code for the NYPL Emoji bot is open source and available on Github, so there were only a few steps to get it up and running:

  1. Fork the project & update the .env file with Twitter credentials
  2. Replace the NYPL urls with new links to Swedish museum collections (work in progress – see below)
  3. Find a server to host the app. Luckily the Nordic Museum already has an excellent and flexible hosting provider (hi Cloudnet!) who setup a PM2 process for me to keep the app running.

I added a bunch of emojis and invited museum colleagues around Sweden to contribute with emoji ideas from their own collections. Right now, after lots & lots of very serious emoji research at multiple institutions, around 800 emojis have one or more matching urls from five different sources: Digitalt museum (a joint site for more than 50 Swedish museums), NationalmuseumVärldskulturmuseernaStockholmskällan and Spårvägsmuseet.

As a side project during January 2018, I wanted to find out if I could get the bot running on Facebook as well. There are a few node modules available that provide a middleman for the Facebook Messenger API, and decided on messenger-bot. The code is horribly written (since I never quite get the hang of proper object-oriented programming) but hey, it works. Again I needed help from Cloudnet to get the server-side connection working (in particular, Facebook Messenger requires a https connection) but the app is up and running and available at One snag in the app review process was that the fields for example queries and responses actually couldn’t handle emojis, confusing both app reviewers and myself until I figured out what was going on.

Try out the chatbot on Twitter or Facebook! The code is available on Github.


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