Is money penny the answer to our shopping needs?
After taking on messaging, cash transfers, and more, Facebook is preparing to challenge Apple in the virtual assistant arena. James Bond fans might smile when they hear what Zuckerberg and Co. are calling it, Moneypenny; the assistant character in the James Bond franchise.
“It’s also unclear what features the service will begin with and how exactly Facebook will fulfil requests,” says The Information.
It seems from the report that Facebook’s Moneypenny will have more in common with services like Magic or Operator, where you just text a person what you need and they figure out the logistics.
Details are a bit scarce at the moment, but The Information says that the system will differ slightly from other personal assistants. Rather than sending your queries to a computer for processing, the system is said to have “real people” answering questions. So far the only uses rumored to be in the works are general research and shopping, but it could potentially be expanded to offer other services as well.
Facebook is attempting at investing in making the texting app more of a shopping tool. This could be a major new service from Facebook, and one of the only things the company charges its users for.
In recent months, Facebook has added video calling and a payments service to Messenger, as well as launching a version for the app for web browsers. There are also rumors that games for the app are in the works. It’s not too surprising then for Facebook to explore the digital assistant arena, and connecting users to real people is presumably less hassle than building a virtual assistant from scratch.