Fully automated self-help interventions integrated with social media chatbots could serve as highly cost-effective physical activity promotion tools for a large population. We have developed MYA, a Telegram-based chatbot for increasing physical activity. The objective of this study was to assess the usability of MYA. To identify usability issues, we recruited volunteers and asked them to interact with MYA and to answer the Chatbot Usability Questionnaire. Thirty volunteers participated in the study, 83.3% agreed MYA was welcoming during initial setup and 63.3% agreed MYA was very easy to use. MYA was perceived as realistic and engaging, easy to navigate, and its responses were useful, appropriate, and informative (all 53.3%). However, 63.3% of respondents agreed MYA failed to recognize most of their inputs, and 43.3% claimed it would be easy to get confused when using MYA. Although the results are encouraging, it remains unclear if a social media chatbot can motivate people to increase their physical activity. MYA has the potential to do that, with improvements in functionalities like challenge personalization. The efficacy of these approaches should be studied in a clinical trial.
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