Kathryn Lindsay
July 15, 2015 4:15 pm

Facebook doesn’t just want to be where you go to hang out with friends, it wants to be the end all be all of online interaction. They’re getting one step closer with the development of what insiders are calling “Moneypenny,” which is like Siri but for Facebook. Except it would work specifically inside Facebook’s Messenger app, and would connect users with real humans who could help them with what they’re looking for.

Named after James Bond’s fictional boss, Moneypenny could connect the 700 million monthly users of Messenger to retailers and services, based on a quick text that outlines what the they’re looking for. It’s a virtual assistant for anyone who uses the brand, and it could help you find information, books, clothes, events, literally anything you asked for by directing them to a relevant human representative.

It’s this emphasis on maintaining human interaction that sets this apart from other similar services, like Siri, Magic and Operator. Facebook doesn’t want to replace human interaction, it just wants to be the key in facilitating it. And hey, I’m all for anything that makes my customer service experience a little smoother.

While this feature doesn’t yet have a release date, it follows some other pretty big updates in the Messenger world, like video chat and money transfer, as well as the ability to use the app regardless of whether or not the user has a Facebook profile. Facebook’s priorities are shifting away from a place to waste time, and more a place that users turn to when they want to digitally connect, be that with friends or with the services they need IRL.

Currently, Facebook employees are testing out the feature before opening it up to the public. What’s the first thing you’d ask for if you got to use Moneypenny? “Find Chris Pratt, find Chris Pratt…”

(Image via Flickr)

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