Facebook messenger is about to get weird.
Announced today, the company is rolling out its experimental virtual “M” assistant to all messenger users, with a new feature called M Suggestions. A statement explains: “M will now offer suggestions by popping into an open conversation to suggest relevant content and capabilities to enrich the way people communicate and get things done.” Basically, once you mention something in “private” conversation with someone, it will provide you with varying options depending on your topic. It’s like when autocorrect suggests emojis to use when you type out a certain word. But, a lot more invasive.
On top of the emoji recommendations (in this case, stickers), whenever you mention payment, it will provide you with an option to easily send or request money. You can share your location during your conversation. If you’re talking about plans, it can help you coordinate and get you a ride to where you need to be. Having a group conversation in which nobody can agree on anything? You can set up a poll.
Convenient? Sure. Creepy? Definitely. The specialized ad pop-ups already make us pretty uncomfortable, so the idea that a huge company like Facebook is spying on our messages doesn’t exactly put us at ease. We’re interested to see how this one pans out.