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Facebook Adds AI Payment Suggestions And Group Polls To Messenger

First Posted: Sep 23, 2016 03:00 AM EDT
Facebook adds AI payment suggestions in Messenger and allows users to poll their friends through the app.
Facebook adds AI payment suggestions in Messenger and allows users to poll their friends through the app.
(Photo Credit: Josh Edelson, Getty Images)

Facebook introduced on Thursday, Sept. 22, on its chat app Messenger two new features for users on Android and iOS.

Facebook Messenger Upgrade

The social media network announced the upgrade on its website.  For the moment the two new features are available only to users in the U.S., but if well received they could roll out to other countries as well.

According to Tech Crunch, group polls in Messenger will help users decide what movie to see or where to go for dinner and then machine learning algorithms will remind users to make peer-to-peer payments. With this chat assist function with polls and payments Facebook aims to make the lives of Messenger users easier.

Facebook told Venture Beat that it is often difficult for groups of people to make plans and decisions, from deciding what restaurants to eat at, what movie to go watch, where to go on the next family vacation, which day to meet up for coffee and much more. Messenger users can poll now their friends through the app, so it will become easier for a group of friends to decide where and when to meet up.

As mentioned before, the new feature is currently only available to U.S. users and only available for group messaging. This means that in case that Messenger users are still part of a group with others in the U.S. but outside the country, they will not be able to cast their vote but still can see the poll.

This is not the first time when Facebook has introduced a similar feature, but previously Facebook users had only the ability to create polls in events and groups, not on the Messenger app. The Messenger upgrade comes less than a year after Twitter introduced group polls on its platform..

According to Fortune, Facebook is also encouraging peer-to-peer payments through Messenger, in addition to the new polling feature.  Machine learning AI can now predict when a user either request a payment or wants to pay someone else. The app will pick up on user suggestions that they are owed money or they owe you and immediately present them with pay options.

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