The Times of India (TOI) has introduced a virtual personal assistant service to the app to help readers set reminders, to book cabs, recharge their mobile, book flights, do web check-ins and make to-do lists among other things.
Its powered by Indian AI company, Haptik.
Cold drink brand Sprite has been named as the the exclusive brand partner for the launch of the service.
To access the virtual personal assistant, users need to tap the hand icon at the top right of the home screen, validate the mobile number and then choose one of the many services that the virtual assistant provides.
Puneet Gupt, chief operating officer & business head, TOI said: “We are excited with the launch of Virtual Assistant inside the Times of India app. The launch enables us to empower our users with both news-and-information & virtual assistant led productivity within the app that they love."
Aakrit Vaish, founder and chief executive officer Haptik added: "Over the last few years, the Haptik virtual assistant chat platform has grown to millions of users and is one of the highest rated apps in India. Our vision is that the service should be accessible from anywhere people want, and not just be restricted to a single app. Integrating into a news app is a natural fit, and the audience of TOI is exactly the type who will appreciate the service."
The Drum spoke with Gulshan Verma, chief revenue officer at TOi-owner Times Internet, who said that advertising will follow India's shift to digital.