People spend so much time on Facebook that the company might as well build its own mobile operating system. Yet the tremendous lead of iOS and Android has Facebook trying its hand on the next best thing: its own virtual assistant.
Facebook’s employees, according to reports, are testing a virtual assistant of sorts called “Moneypenny”, after James Bond’s flirtatious secretary.
So what’s the big deal, you say? Apple’s Siri, Google’s Google Now and Microsoft’s Cortana, all of these are well-known virtual assistants deeply integrated into each company’s core mobile operating system.
Two things. First, Moneypenny is said to be tacked on to Facebook Messenger, which boasts 700 million active monthly users. Second is that Facebook’s virtual assistant will connect the user to “real people” who’d then provide services like order products or check out restaurant menus, etc. Siri, Google Now and Cortana all tap into complex computer programs and algorithms to answer questions and perform basic tasks.
The report mentions no launch date for Moneypenny. But with such tremendous scope and a virtually unmatched user base, Facebook might just have something big on its hands.