As of now, however, Facebook is not tapping into its social graph to help answer those questions—so presumably you’ll have to tell M what type of flowers your mother likes, rather than asking M to comb through her timeline and discover that fact for itself. It’s also not clear whether M will actually make a purchase for you, or simply point you to a service or website for you to take care of yourself.
Eventually, everyone that uses Messenger—yes, all 700 million users—will get to use M, Facebook promises. That seems virtually impossible to do with a team of live employees. So that will put the onus on Facebook’s algorithms to figure out what you want and then do it for you, all with you paying for the privilege. It’s not clear that Magic, a small startup, was able to make this work. Can one of the largest companies on the planet, Facebook, be successful?
Updated at 12:27 PM with additional information and a statement from Facebook.
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