Facebook M Is Your New Social Media Virtual Assistant

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Siri-esque service will live inside Facebook Messenger and help answer life’s tricky questions

Your Facebook account might be about to get even more personal following the company’s announcement that it is launching a digital assistant.

Named M, the new service will live inside Facebook Messenger, and uses its knowledge about you to try and make everyday life smoother than ever before.

Powered by Facebook’s latest research on artificial intelligence, M differs from other programs such as Siri in that it can actually complete tasks such as buying items, arrange deliveries, book restaurants, travel arrangements, appointments “and way more”, Facebook says.

Smart

facebook mFrom the examples provided by Facebook (pictured left), users interact with M through a normal Messenger chat, with commands and questions forming part of a conversation with the service.

Users can ask M questions about local services, finding a good place to visit, or gaining assistance for gift ideas, with the program responding with its own suggestions.

The service is being tested initially amongst Facebook users in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a further roll-out planned soon.

“This is early in the journey to build M into an at-scale service,” Facebook’s David Marcus wrote in a post. “But it’s an exciting step towards enabling people on Messenger to get things done across a variety of things, so they can get more time to focus on what’s important in their lives.”

The launch of M marks the latest evolution of Messenger as it becomes a core part of Facebook’s overall strategy, thanks in no small part to its 700 million users.

Earlier this year, the company launched the ability to send money to your contacts via Messenger simply by registering their card details.

There was also the launch of Messenger for Businesses, a new service which will allow companies to interact with their customers via Facebook. The service can also help customers, allowing them to receive updates about online shopping orders and delivery times, as well as being able to ask businesses questions about products or services.

These all form part of the wider launch of Messenger as a Platform, an expansion to Messenger which Facebook hopes will expand its reach outside of the social network and on to other sites.

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