Moneypenny: Facebook’s Human-Operated Virtual Assistant

Facebook is reportedly developing its own digital assistant internally called Moneypenny, after James Bond’s trustworthy secretary. According to The Information, the social network is working on a feature within Facebook Messenger that “allows users to ask real people for help researching and ordering products and services, among other tasks.”

What’s different about Moneypenny?

Designed to rival digital assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Google Now and Microsoft’s Cortana, Moneypenny’s main purpose is basically to make our life easier. They are truly first-world problems solving gurus. What’s different, though, is that Moneypenny will allow users to search for and order products and services backed by live human assistance, early reports suggest.

Innovation is in the air

In recent months, Facebook has come out with new features for Messenger, that include video calling and payment services, but the social network isn’t done with innovation yet. Basically, with Moneypenny, well-trained people and experts in various fields will help users to discover and purchase products and services.

Your assistant in your pocket

The technology is similar to concierge services such as Magic — which is a text-based service that promises to get you whatever your heart desires, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week — as long as it’s legal.

Other virtual assistant applications include Operator and GoButler which promise to fulfil every one of your requests, on-demand by searching the web, comparing prices, reading reviews, and ordering what you need.

Moneypenny: Facebook's Human-Operated Virtual Assistant - Clapway

“Text us to get whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever you are – it’s really simple and cool,” says GoButler co-founder CEO Navid Hadzaad. The objective is ultimately to help users save time and “make it happen”, conveniently via text message.

Virtual assistants are increasingly popular

The demand for human-operated virtual assistants is increasingly high, with companies processing and handling thousands of requests per day.

Moneypenny is currently being tested and it will probably include new features before being released to the world at large. Even its name could eventually change. However, if Moneypenny is designed to work in combination with Facebook Messenger’s new options, then it could definitely be an interesting service to explore.

Facebook hasn’t commented on the ‘leak’ yet.

Are you using a virtual assistant? How useful is it?


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