Back in 2015, Facebook announced a new digital assistant called M that lives in the Facebook Messenger app and can do things like book dinner reservations, make travel plans, and more for you. Fast forward to today and Facebook says it's shutting M down.
Facebook is shutting down M on January 19th, the company confirmed today. Facebook didn't really say why it's shutting down M, but it did say that it's pleased with the performance of M's suggestions and that it'll use what it learned to power other AI projects.
Here's Facebook's full statement to The Verge:
“We launched this project to learn what people needed and expected of an assistant, and we learned a lot. We’re taking these useful insights to power other AI projects at Facebook. We continue to be very pleased with the performance of M suggestions in Messenger, powered by our learnings from this experiment.”
M was powered by both technology and real people, with AI controlling M and Facebook employees working to ensure that requests were fulfilled. The M assistant never really seemed to take off, though, and lately its odds of doing so have been getting steep as digital assistants from Amazon and Google continue to grow in popularity. Considering all of that, it's no surprise to learn that M is going dark later this month.