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Facebook Adds a Virtual Digital Assistant to the Messenger App

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Facebook Messenger will soon be receiving a virtual digital assistant similar to what the Apple users have in Siri, Google users have in Google Now and Microsoft users have in Cortana.

However, according to this social networking giant, the Messenger’s virtual digital assistant, dubbed M, is a little different from these competing platforms in what it does and how it does things.

What this application does is to simply complete the tasks by providing the users with information based on their searches or what they want. The market today is filled with AI-based virtual assistants and a good number of them have been mentioned above. However, as noted earlier, this application is a bit different from what you get with Siri and Google Now.

While the others from Google, Apple and Microsoft have no ability to complete the tasks for the user, Facebook M brings this ability to the platform where different tasks can be completed for you. For instance, the feature can book a restaurant for you, make a payment or purchase an item online. Furthermore, you don’t need to personally deliver gifts to your friends and family; instead, Facebook M can do just that.

If you are in a new place and you would like to know the best restaurant in town where you can have a nice meal and maybe rest, Facebook M will be at your service. Those who have a lot to handle on their hands will also relish this new M feature of Facebook Messenger, as it will be able to make travel arrangements as well as book appointments for you, among many other things.

How is Facebook M different from Google Now and Siri

Well, there are some obvious differences between the new Facebook M, Google Now, Siri and Cortana. The first thing that Facebook notes is that M is more of a human than a machine or software program, which is what drives Google Now and Siri.

Facebook M will be handled by M trainers, a group of non-employees who will be tasked with the duty of responding to users’ questions and queries and ensure that the best answers are provided to them. This is not the same case with Apple’s Siri and Google’s Now, as the two make use of a software program that is programmed in a certain manner. Furthermore, Facebook M has no gender like the rest of its competitors.

In most cases, you will find Cortana and Siri giving search results based on the searches you perform on your devices frequently. This is also a feature that has been rumored to come with the iOS 9, but nothing has yet to be confirmed. You won’t get such predictable results from Facebook M as it does not provide search results based on what you search most; rather, based on what you want at the moment.

The new M comes in just a few days after Microsoft had made it public that it will be allowing the Android users to make use of Cortana in executing commands on their mobile devices. This announcement comes in the wake of the company’s efforts to expand its mobile presence in a market that is dominated by Apple and Google.