One definite thing that competition brings is the best. This is evident in the technological front as Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Apple keep battling for supremacy.
There is no doubt that Facebook is the leading company when it comes to socializing. However, it is not where you will head to when you want to search for something on the internet. Instead, you will think Google. Most probably, you will be using a phone, tablet or computer to take care of all these and out best guess is that if this device is not using an Apple OS, it is installed with a Microsoft OS.
Each of these companies iscompeting in the technological space, be it messaging, mobile devices, PCs and other areas. Facebook is looking to change the search functionality on its platform by introducing Facebook M, a virtual assistant that will find home in Messenger and other Facebook apps and directly compete with Siri from Apple, Google Now from Google, Alexa from Amazon and Cortana from Microsoft.
Facebook M is similar to Siri, Cortana and Google Now in some aspects
Just like Siri and Google Now, Facebook M will be able to tell you whatever you want, be it the weather, results from Soccer matches you missed last night and many other things. You don’t have to schedule your appointments manually as long as you have M. You will receive reminders of everything you ask it to remind you about, just in the same way Siri and Cortana do.
But it is also different from Siri, Cortana and Google Now
Even though there are lots of similarities between Facebook M and its competitors, there are also some differences that tear them apart. As opposed to the many AI-based services that current providers offer, M comes with something different where tasks can be completed on your behalf.
Whether it’s shopping, delivering gifts to loved ones, making travel arrangements, booking hotels and restaurants or even making appointments, Facebook M will be at your service. These are things you won’t get on Siri, Google Now, Cortana or Alexa. According to David Marcus, the president of Facebook messaging services, M can carry out such customer services just because it does not rely heavily on artificial intelligence to respond to the asked questions. It is just a modern way of bringing the old school feel to the current setup.
It makes use of customer service reps known as M trainers to respond to these questions and according to the company; these team of Trainers is mainly composed of contractors and not Facebook employees. Unlike the other companies’ services that come preinstalled on the operating systems, Facebook M lives in the Messenger app. Furthermore, M only responds to text-based commands and questions as opposed to the voice commands that Cortana, Siri and Google Now use. There is also room for sending a recorded voice clip, and M will respond to it instantly, via text.
You will not receive any predictive search results in M like it happens with its rivals. In Google Now and Cortana, you will first come across results based on what you frequently search before asking any question, something that is similar with Siri in the upcoming iOS 9.
Facebook M is currently in beta
Facebook M was rolled out this week, but according to Marcus, only a few hundred people have had the chance to get this update in their Messenger app. However, we believe that this is finally one major way Facebook is going to monetize its messaging platforms.
Over the next few months, users of Messenger should expect to see more of this M service and eventually, all 700+ million users of this instant messaging app will have full access to the service.