Readers Can Text and Tweet with Story Characters

Massively storytelling app incorporates AI interactivity for a new user experience.

Characters with lives and opinions of their own are nothing new. Authors since time immemorial have talked about how characters seem to speak with them, or even refuse to do what they’re told. Popular urban fantasy author Jim Butcher has a Twitter account for each major character in his Harry Dresden series, which responds and posts according to that characters personality.

Massively is taking that concept a step further by incorporating AI to allow users to have a conversation with the characters in stories told through the app. It works like this:

  • Step One: Download the app (available for iOS and Android) and register for your account.
  • Step Two: Choose a story from the app’s database, which currently includes thousands of titles from all genres.
  • Step Three: Use Massively’s message-style function to interact with the characters in the story, impacting how events unfold.
  • Step Four: Publish the final story, including your influence either publicly or to a limited group you name.

The interaction for Massively is run primarily through simple AIs, which respond to keywords in user communication according to instructions in a flow chart structure for the story. In many ways, it’s an upgrade on the popular “Choose Your Own Adventure” concept series of the late 20th century.

Downloading the Massively app is free, as are most of the stories. However, a handful of premium tales require Massively Credits, which you can purchase outright, or earn by interacting with the app and its community.

We’ve already written about how technology is changing the way people interact with novels, from animated children’s picture books to stories designed to help trauma victims come to grips with their own stories. The Massively app is another example of the changing face of creative works — another signpost on a highway to an art world that could well be unrecognizable from the traditions we’ve come to expect.


Photo Credit: Carissa Rogers