Facebook launches ‘M’ within its Messenger app to take on Siri

BY Evan Selleck

Published 26 Aug 2015

Facebook M personal assistant

Digital personal assistants are all the rage these days, thanks to Apple’s Siri kicking things off what feels like forever ago. Now Facebook wants in on the fun.

The company has launched what it’s calling “M,” and it will be available exclusively within its Messenger app. This actually lines up with earlier reports suggesting that the social networking giant was working on something similar called “Moneypenny.” As confirmed by WIRED, Facebook’s digital personal assistant will be a limited initial rollout, only available to a limited number of users within the San Francisco Bay area beginning today.

M has a bit more personal touch, even compared to Siri or even Microsoft’s Cortana. Users will be able to actually have limited conversations with M, and the digital personal assistant will ask follow-up questions to some queries in an attempt to glean more information from the user and whatever it is they’re looking for or need. There might be some privacy concerns, though, as there isn’t any details on whether or not when a request is delivered, if it’s actually a computer (M), or a human being performing and completing those tasks on the other end.

M will only have limited access to a user’s information, though, and that includes not being able to look at a user’s Timeline. M will remember what the personal assistant and user talk about, though, and can reuse that information when it’s pertinent. Basically, that means you won’t have to answer the same question multiple times, hopefully.

While M has a limited rollout now, Facebook obviously wants to expand M to a larger user base at some point down the road. When that will be, however, is unknown.

What do you think of the idea?

[via WIRED]