Facebook M will begin making suggestions in Messenger

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Facebook is adding a suggestions feature to M, its AI-powered virtual assistant housed in Messenger, according to BuzzFeed. Called “M Suggestions,” the feature makes suggestions based on the content of a conversation users are having. For example, if a friend asks a user “where are you?” in Messenger, M might suggest the user share their location information with that friend.

For now, the service is available only to a select number of users, however, the company plans to expand M Suggestions to more Messenger users in early 2017, Messenger Head David Marcus told BuzzFeed. 

Facebook's move is likely a reaction to the growing number of intelligent assistants emerging in messaging apps. For instance, Google Assistant offers similar capabilities in the Allo chat app. And Apple’s iMessage provides users with suggested emojis. These assistants are aimed at making interactions more convenient, enabling users to access information and services without having to leave their chat windows. It’s likely that Facebook will begin incorporating more features into M, including ones that suggest users order Uber vehicles or make peer-to-peer payments over Messenger. These two services became separately available in Messenger in September.

Should the test prove successful, it could attract third-party developers who would be able to build their apps right into the Messenger experience. This could improve reach, discoverability, and usage for app developers. 

  • Facebook Messenger has a wide global reach. Facebook’s chat app boasts more than 1 billion monthly active users globally, effectively making it the second-largest mobile platform behind Android in terms of reach. Moreover, it operates on both Android and iOS, allowing developers to create for both operating systems.
  • Chat apps over-index when it comes to app engagement. The average number of daily sessions for chat apps is more than four times higher than that of traditional apps, according to Flurry. Messenger could provide developers with the opportunity to build an app experience where users are spending their time.
  • Building apps within chat apps reduces smartphone space. App experiences found within chat apps don't need to be downloaded or housed on users’ smartphones and, therefore, don't take up memory on these smartphones. Similarly, because M Suggestions reminds users that the app is available, it could increase the chance that they interact and use it.

Messaging apps have evolved beyond simple text communication tools to include commerce, file sharing, artificial intelligence, and more. And that evolution is ongoing.

BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on messaging apps that takes a close look at the size of the messaging app market, how these apps are changing, and the types of opportunities for monetization that have emerged from the growing audience that uses messaging services daily.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • Mobile messaging apps are massive. The largest services have hundreds of millions of monthly active users (MAU). Falling data prices, cheaper devices, and improved features are helping propel their growth.
  • Messaging apps are about more than messaging. The first stage of the chat app revolution was focused on growth. In the next phase, companies will focus on building out services and monetizing chat apps’ massive user base.
  • Popular Asian messaging apps like WeChat, KakaoTalk, and LINE have taken the lead in finding innovative ways to keep users engaged. They’ve also built successful strategies for monetizing their services.
  • Media companies, and marketers are still investing more time and resources into social networks like Facebook and Twitter than they are into messaging services. That will change as messaging companies build out their services and provide more avenues for connecting brands, publishers, and advertisers with users.

In full, this report:

  • Gives a high-level overview of the messaging market in the US by comparing total monthly active users for the top chat apps.
  • Examines the user behavior of chat app users, specifically what makes them so attractive to brands, publishers, and advertisers.
  • Identifies what distinguishes chat apps in the West from their counterparts in the East.
  • Discusses the potentially lucrative avenues companies are pursuing to monetize their services.
  • Offers key insights and implications for marketers as they consider interacting with users through these new platforms.

To get your copy of this invaluable guide, choose one of these options:

  1. Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
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The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the future of messaging apps.

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