Facebook first announced M in August 2015 in beta form as a personal assistant designed to live inside the company’s Messenger app. At the time, Facebook tried to differentiate M from Cortana, Google Now, and Siri, by using a conversational question and answer format that would be “trained and supervised” by real people on the back-end.
Unfortunately, the human-supervised version of M has never expanded beyond a small pool of users living in California, which consisted of about 2,000 people, according to The Verge. In fact, what most users can currently access through their Messenger app is a far simpler version of the assistant called M suggestions.
But today, about two and a half years after the launch of its assistant, Facebook has announced that M’s human-supervised version will retire on January 19. Starting on January 20, all users will only have access to M suggestions, which can currently be used for making plans, sending stickers through the Messenger app, and receiving suggestions for payments.
Finally, the company has said in a statement to The Verge that the whole human-supervised project was an experiment from the beginning and that it now plans to relocate the personnel who worked at the back-end of M to other posts inside the company.
Source: The Verge