It’s taken almost 2 years, but Facebook is finally rolling out their virtual assistant ‘M’ to users of their Messenger service – at least in the US.
According to Facebook, M will be added into Messenger conversations for users in the US. M will now offer ‘suggestions by popping into an open conversation to suggest relevant content and capabilities to enrich the way people communicate and get things done’. M is powered by Artificial Intelligence, and has a limited set of suggestions to start with. Facebook says M will suggest things on a range of topics or instances including:
- Sending stickers: M shares fun sticker suggestions for your daily life interactions like “Thank you” or “Bye-bye.”
- Paying or requesting money: M recognizes when people are discussing payments and gives them the option of easily sending or requesting money.
- Sharing your location: M can suggest an option to share your location during a conversation.
- Making plans: If people are talking about getting together, M helps coordinating a plan.
- Starting a poll (in group conversations only): Have a hard time making decisions in a group? M lets you set a poll topic and vote in group conversations.
- Getting a Ride: Talking about going somewhere? M suggests “Get A Ride” and shares an option of Lyft or Uber.
Facebook says that the AI behind M will continue to learn more about you the more you use it. You don’t have to take suggestions from M, you’ll be able to ignore or dismiss the suggestions, and if M gets to be too nosy or interupts too much, you can just turn it off altogether in Settings.
M will launch today in the US for users on both Android and iOS, but Facebook says that M will ‘eventually roll out to other countries’, though they haven’t clarified a timeline.