Facebook Messenger's Virtual Assistant M Learns New Tricks

facebook-messenger-and-39;s-virtual-assistant-m-learns-new-tricks photo 1

Facebook Messenger's artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant M is learning some new tricks.

Launched in April, M appears in your chats to make you aware of certain Messenger features you might not have known about. In the near future, M will also be able to remind you to save content in your Messenger conversations, jog your memory about people's birthdays, and suggest you make a voice or video call. Facebook said it plans to roll out these features for US users, starting today.

facebook-messenger-and-39;s-virtual-assistant-m-learns-new-tricks photo 2

Once the update arrives, M may suggest you save content such as URLs, videos, Facebook posts, events, and/or pages, which you can read, watch, or share later. With the Messenger "Saved" extension, you can then share your saved content in one-on-one or group messages.

Another handy new feature will remind you if someone you're chatting with has a birthday. If so, the virtual assistant will suggest you send them a birthday wish like a festive sticker, text, card, or video.

Finally, M will now remind you that you can make calls right through the Messenger app. Regardless of whether you're chatting with one person or in a group chat, M will now suggest a voice or video call in Messenger if someone in the conversation expresses an interest in speaking that way. So, if someone says "want to call me?" M will now surface a suggestion that will let you easily do that.


  • 23 Cool Tricks and Secret Gems Inside Facebook Messenger23 Cool Tricks and Secret Gems Inside Facebook Messenger

"As with all M suggestions, the new features above are powered by machine learning and completely automated," Facebook wrote in a blog post. "To experience M, simply chat with a friend or a group as you normally would. M may make a suggestion in a conversation relevant to one of the core actions listed above, and then the M logo and suggestion will appear – it's that simple."

Facebook also pointed out that M will get better over time. "The more you use it, the more it can help," the company said.

If you don't like the idea of M butting into your conversations, you can mute the feature in settings or ignore or dismiss suggestions that aren't helpful.

Recommended stories

Relax Facebook Messenger's Virtual Assistant M Learns New Tricks stories

Business Choice Awards 2017: CRM

Find out which Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool PCMag readers use to make their relationship they have with customers a happy one.

MIT Drone Flies and Drives

Flying alone isn't the most efficient way to get your drone to its destination. MIT engineers hope that their design could one day be used to transport humans.

Facebook Has a New Mission

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company will continue working to 'give people a voice and help people connect,' but this new mission statement takes things a step further.

More stories

The Best All-in-One Computers of 2017

An all-in-one (AIO) PC can be a convenient space-saver on your desktop. Our buying advice and roundup of the latest top-reviewed products can help you land one of these sleek machines.