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Facebook Working on Virtual Assistant to Rival Siri, Cortana: Report

Facebook Working on Virtual Assistant to Rival Siri, Cortana: Report

In past few years we have seen Facebook enter the messaging, cash transfer, and even gaming section using its standalone Messenger app. Now the social media giant is reportedly planning to enter the voice-based virtual assistant field with a Messenger-based service that will rival Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana, and Google Now.

Facebook is reportedly working on a voice-based virtual assistant for its Messenger application, dubbed Moneypenny, as per The Information (via 9to5Mac). For now, there aren't many details about the service, however, the report says that the voice-based virtual assistant would be slightly different from others as it would have "real people" answering the queries instead of machine processed automated replies.

For now, the service is rumoured to be programmed for general research and shopping-based uses only, but will be expanded in its later development stages. There is no release date for Moneypenny as of now. Of course, Facebook is not the first company to reportedly be exploring the field. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer earlier this year said the company is looking to use mobile search to offer personalised results, and pulling in context for the user.

Facebook last month started letting users without an account to sign up for its Messenger app with a phone number. With the latest update, users will be prompted by an option when they open the app. They can then sign up with their name, phone number and a photo. The new sign-up method is rolling out first in Canada, the United States, Peru, and Venezuela.

The mobile messaging service, which has 600 million users, has added a number of new features in recent months, including games and video calling. Facebook's flagship social network has 1.4 billion users. The app last month was said to have been downloaded more than a billion times via Google Play.


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