Facebook M, a Personal Assistant for Messenger ➝

Natt Garun, writing for The Next Web:

Facebook’s Vice President of Messaging Products David Marcus today announced a new service called M. M is designed to be your personal assistant, which you can use to ask for recommendations such as gift ideas or restaurants to visit when you’re traveling. […]

The service is similar to what smartphones offer with Siri and Cortana, though offering the service via Messenger means anyone can use it as long as the app is available on their platform.

M looks like an impressive service, but I don’t think it’s a very good competitor to Siri. The barrier to entry for using it is just too high. With Siri, users are a simple long-press on their home button away from setting timers, reminders, asking questions, and more. But with M users have to launch Facebook’s Messenger app and enter a conversation to start making use of its personal assistant features.

Some users are bound to love M and it being tied to Facebook gives it some level of awareness that may be unique compared to Siri or Google Now. And, given the size of Facebook’s user base, I’m certain there’s plenty of users who practically live in Facebook Messenger. However, its inherent cross platform “benefits” could ultimately be its death knell — the user experience of having M tucked away inside of an application pales in comparison to activating Siri with a hardware button without even needing to unlock your device.

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