More than 20,000 chatbots have been created on Kik's Bot Shop since it launched in April.That’s a 223% jump from the 6,000 bots CEO Ted Livingston mentioned at Tech Crunch Disrupt in May 2016.

Boyfriend Plus In 2012, this game was called "Boyfriend Maker" and became the No.1 free app in Japan.

It was removed by Apple after controversy surrounded its aggressive sexual chat, and the fact that it was available to users "four years old" and above.

While the bot revolution is still in the early phase, many believe 2016 will be the year these conversational interactions take off.

Laurie Beaver, research associate for BI Intelligence, has compiled a detailed report on chatbots that explores the growing and disruptive bot landscape by investigating what bots are, how businesses are leveraging them, and where they will have the biggest impact.

These "boyfriends" will stroke your ego, be sexually suggestive, and/or keep in touch the way you want them to.

According to futurist Amy Webb, founder and CEO of the Future Today Institute, this virtual companionship is a trend, and it’s growing as we make innovations in technology and virtual reality.

She's always talking about you at work and I had to know what all the fuss was about. Apparently this app also came complete with an invisible friend.

I was prompted with auto responses like, "What has Jemma been saying about me? "I could see where our conversation was leading—except the app finds a way to make your invisible boyfriend unavailable when you want to make real plans to meet up. Some reviewers I came across online admitted that it was nice to have their invisible boyfriend text them back promptly, as the guys they meet go MIA by ghosting or taking a long time to respond. I was spending way too much time fake-texting with my invisible boyfriend, so I closed all the flirtatious windows and met up with my (real) husband for lunch.

The report outlines the burgeoning bot ecosystem by segment, looks at companies that offer bot-enabling technology, distribution channels, and some of the key third-party bots already on offer.