It is being reported that Facebook Messenger is quietly testing voice commands for voice and calls. What that means according to TechCrunch’s Josh Constine is that Facebook Messenger users could soon be able to use their voice to dictate and send messages, start voice calls and create reminders.
A Messenger for Android code has revealed that a new M assistant button is sitting atop the message thread screen which activates listening for voice commands for those features.
If activated, Messenger could become easier to use, especially with hands-free voice command capability. For international users, this could be additional reason to use Messenger whose native languages are a bit difficult to type.
Voice command is gradually gaining grounds with Google also recently launching Voice Access; an app that allows Android users to get around their devices by simply using their voice. That said, voice commands in the M assistant is something that has not been experienced before now, and points to a major change in Facebook’s strategy.
“We often experiment with new experiences on Messenger with employees. We have nothing more to share at this time,” a Facebook Messenger spokesperson told TechCrunch when asked to confirm if the company was planning to launch a voice command for Messenger.
A couple of months ago, Facebook Messenger added an update that lets you translate between Spanish and English languages.
When you get a chat written in Spanish from a friend on Messenger, the messaging app will automatically translate it to English. What that means is that you no longer have to shuttle between the translator on your phone or browser to get things done.
M Translation further populated the existing M Suggestions features already integrated into the Messenger app. The translation between Spanish and English feature was at the time turned on only for users in Mexico and the US, understandably because it was still being tested at the time.
When you get a message in a language that is different from yours or set as your default, the Messenger’s M bot Will pop up and offer to translate it for you.
In 2017, Facebook introduced its own virtual assistant called M. The virtual assistant was first tested among a small group of Facebook users in the past before it was extended to chats; but only at the right time.
To all those already familiar with how Google Allo’s powerful assistant works, Facebook’s M is all about helping the flow of conversation. The buttons are designed using artificial intelligence. Last April when the feature was first launched by the social media giant, Facebook said M was still building its dictionary to help serve you better.
In addition to helping you with the Spanish/English translation, other things you can do or enjoy with the M bot include
- Sending stickers: M shares fun sticker suggestions for your daily life interactions like “Thank you” or “Bye-bye.”
- Paying or requesting money: M recognizes when people are discussing payments and gives them the option of easily sending or requesting money.