With the launch of suggested responses in Facebook Messenger, billions were exposed to their first taste of M, the social media company’s artificial intelligent assistant. On Tuesday, Facebook is kicking things up a notch, revealing that it’s running a test to see if third-party apps can play nice with M, with the first partner being Delivery.com.
Limited to those in the U.S. in markets Delivery.com services, this integration will leverage AI to determine when in a conversation might be the right time to surface food recommendations. “Let’s say you want to get a pizza, and in the same way you do stickers, locations, and payments [in Messenger], you’ll get an interface and you can choose the pizza you want to order,” explained Stan Chudnovsky, the head of product for Facebook Messenger. Naturally the more you use the chat app and also request food, the smarter M will become and surface more relevant items you might be interested in.
He cautions that this is only a test, “so we don’t know where it’s going to go. … We don’t know if anyone is going to do that.” However, he stated that there are third-party experiences that could plug into Facebook’s AI infrastructure “over time.”
Eating is a social activity, and thus Delivery.com’s tie-in with Facebook Messenger shouldn’t be surprising. If you’re having a group conversation, you might want to figure out where to go for lunch, dinner, drinks, or just snacks. And while an outdoor jaunt may be the norm, there are times you want to stay in, such as movie night, study groups, or just other reasons. Combined with the group payments recently added in Messenger, you have everything you need to take care of a big night in.
While Facebook could have added Delivery.com as a Messenger chat extension, by integrating it directly with M, the expectation is that it’ll help you do more with less effort.
Today’s announcement is made in conjunction with other Messenger platform updates as Facebook shifts its focus to helping users discover businesses and bots on the chat app.