What Are Facebook Users Who Are Testing M Asking For?

The few users with access to Facebook’s test of its M personal assistant for Messenger are not even scratching the surface of what it can do.

The few users with access to Facebook’s test of its M personal assistant for Messenger are not even scratching the surface of what it can do.

Vice president of messaging products David Marcus revealed the limited test of M in an August Facebook post, saying:

M is a personal digital assistant inside of Messenger that completes tasks and finds information on your behalf. It’s powered by artificial intelligence that’s trained and supervised by people.

Facebook told TechCrunch:

So far, most people are using M to pass off less than thrilling chores, get out of a bind or just extend their bandwidth when life gets truly busy.

The social network told TechCrunch that so far, the No. 1 request made via M has been for suggestions and reservations for restaurants, followed by local search requests and assistance with completing purchases by using payment information that users already have on file with Facebook.

Other popular requests, Facebook told TechCrunch, include ordering flowers or food, making travel arrangements, accessing weather reports and being reminded of upcoming appointments. The social network also provided the following examples to TechCrunch:

  • Negotiating with cable companies to cancel service or obtain refunds or discounts without the user having to call the company.
  • Handling toll violations for a rental car by getting M to work with the car company so that it waives late fees and pays for the ticket.
  • Getting a car towed and booking a last-minute hotel room after a user loses his or her keys.
  • Receiving travel assistance and retrieving a lost item thanks to M communicating with locals who only speak a certain language.
  • Planning a wedding by arranging vendors for makeup, flowers, programs and manicures.
  • Booking a vacation by setting up flights, creating itineraries and planning activities.
  • Assisting new parents with research on child-care providers and completing random tasks.

Readers: What would you use M for if you had access to it?

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david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.