Cash machine learning: Facebook Messenger makes paying back pals a breeze
Facebook Messenger may be a one-stop shop for making plans with the besties, but even a leading chat app isn't exempt from group indecision and an even bigger social bane: reminding friends to pay you back.
Thankfully, Messenger is adding just the features to combat these hurdles, allowing chatters to vote on choices in-app, as well as use the service's built-in apps to make sure you don't forget about your latest IOU.
The new payment reminder feature taps into Facebook's budding chatbot system. The machine learning algorithm catches phrases like "I owe you X" or "please pay me X" and offers a chance to pay immediately via services like Venmo, PayPal or Square. You'll never have to leave Messenger, which is especially convenient for the more forgetful among us who still need to chip in on last night's pizza.
Messenger's new polling powers work like it says on the tin - a user in the chat group can make up a list of options and ask the rest of the room for a vote.
This is especially useful for those too-open-ended-for-their-own-good outings, where precious hours are lost deciding where to go or what to eat that night.
The new features roll out today on iOS and Android in the US, and plan to expand globally if they are well-received. We don't see that being too much of an issue, as we already owe the service some gratitude for helping us avoid faux pas similar to neglecting to pay someone back, like forgetting a friend's birthday.
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