Facebook is getting ready to inject a dose of artificial intelligence into its Messenger app with “M suggestions,” which the company started limited beta testing today. Designed to help move your conversations along, Facebook’s machine learning-powered virtual assistant M will suggest appropriate responses and stickers according to the context. For example, M would surface several emojis for you to common phrases such as “thanks,” or suggest sharing your current location in response to a question such as “where are you?” Facebook says other suggestions Messenger already makes, such as event reminders and ride-hailing, will be rolled under the “M suggestions” as well.
What Brands Should Do
This move marks a promising start to Facebook’s roll-out of its virtual assistant service M, offering a glimpse into how Facebook may position M in its messaging app and how brands may leverage it to build conversational customer service. We are optimistic that Facebook would open up M for sponsored content and branded recommendations in the near future, given Facebook’s trajectory in making Messenger’s platform more brand-friendly so far. And brands need to be ready for what could essentially be an updated version of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) that plays around AI algorithms to make sure their content shows up in advantageous positions in M’s recommendations.
Machine learning and its brand implications is a topic we will be diving into in details in our upcoming Outlook 2017 report. Please check back in January to read more of our take on this hot industry trend.