Based on our last trip to Facebook’s London HQ, its plans for Messenger reach far beyond being a humble chat service and Moneypenny could be its next big feature.
Facebook’s Moneypenny (presently an internal name lifted from the James Bond character) will be more of a concierge service than rival the virtual voice assistants offered up by Google, Microsoft and Apple. Think of it as more of a hybrid between the concierge offerings Vertu users enjoy (albeit for several thousands of pounds a year) and Amazon’s Mayday personal assistance feature.
According to The Information, Moneypenny will be manned by real people, the biggest departure from its rival’s offerings, and accessible from within the Messenger app. But rather than calling up its services to check the weather or find out how many tennis balls fit inside Wimbledon’s Centre Court (it’s 290 million, by the way) Facebook supposedly plans to use it for other means.
Moneypenny is intended to assist users researching products or services they potentially plan on buying, along with ‘other tasks’ and that leaves a pretty broad amount of scope for what it’ll be capable of.
At the last count, the Facebook Messenger app in which Moneypenny will run already boasted over 600 million active users and that serves as a pretty gargantuan pool of potential customers for brands willing to sell their products via the new service (if that’s the direction Facebook takes with it).
We’ve reached out to Facebook for more information on the potential service, but right now we don’t know when or where it’ll officially make its debut. Now, we’re more intrigued about how Facebook’s competitors will respond.