Special Offer: Subscribe today for a free ticket ($499 value) to The Future of Startups. Redeem Now
Facebook's VP for messaging products, David Marcus, at F8 last year. Photo by Bloomberg.
Exclusive
Facebook

How Messenger and “M” Are Shifting Gears

Photo: Facebook's VP for messaging products, David Marcus, at F8 last year. Photo by Bloomberg.

After two years of trying to figure out ways to get commerce flowing through Messenger, with little success, Facebook is taking a new tack. Messenger is trying to find ways to inject buttons into conversations between friends when it thinks they intend to do things like make restaurant reservations, buy tickets to something or order food.

The buttons would give users a way to act on those ideas, by linking up with an outside company to buy something or make a reservation. Currently, users on Messenger have to search for businesses, which mostly operate on the app through automated bots. Those bots, as well as Messenger’s personal assistant M, have had difficulty fulfilling requests from people without the help of humans.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
Exclusive Travel E-commerce
Amazon Expands Secretive Trucking Program
A truck next to an Amazon delivery station in New Jersey in October. Photo by Bloomberg
Amazon’s effort to exert control over the trucking of goods to its customers is moving quickly. In a little over a year, more than 130 small trucking companies around the globe have agreed to transport freight exclusively for Amazon, The Information has learned. Those companies have leased over 1,100 Amazon-branded tractors, the cab units at the front of semitrucks, according to documents...
Latest Briefs
 
Huawei Mulls Selling its Premium Smartphone Business
SoftBank’s Vision Fund Loses Another Executive
China Overtakes U.S. as Top Destination for Foreign Investment
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Vice CEO Nancy Dubuc. Photo by Bloomberg.
Exclusive Entertainment
Inside Nancy Dubuc’s Quest to Rehabilitate Vice
When television veteran Nancy Dubuc took over as CEO of Vice Media in the spring of 2018, cash was so tight that company executives were debating whether they should cancel the Friday morning ritual of free donuts and bagels for staff.
Andreessen Horowitz co-founders Marc Andreessen (left) and Ben Horowitz. Photo by Bloomberg.
Exclusive Venture Capital
Andreessen Horowitz Looks to Launch Opinion Publication as Its Media Ambition Grows
Silicon Valley investment firm Andreessen Horowitz, which once courted attention from the news media, is ramping up its own media efforts.
Org Charts Startups Markets
The People With Power at Robinhood
Last year, as Robinhood’s trading activity boomed and legal problems mounted, the $11.7 billion startup shook up the ranks of its senior staff.
Zach Perret, CEO and co-founder of Plaid, spoke during the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit in Salt Lake City last year. Photo: Bloomberg
Exclusive Venture Capital Startups
Plaid Shareholders Field Offers at $15 Billion After Merger Collapse
Normally CEOs that opt to sell their companies aren’t happy when the government blocks the deal over antitrust concerns.
Rioters breached barricades to enter the U.S. Capitol  on Jan. 6. Photo: Bloomberg
Exclusive Travel Policy
Airbnb Used Facebook and Twitter to Weed Out Hate Groups
For the past few years, a specialized team of about half a dozen employees within Airbnb has been assigned an urgent task: preventing white nationalists and other potentially dangerous fringe groups from renting homes on the site.
Patreon CEO Jack Conte. Photo courtesy of Patreon
Exclusive Startups Markets
Patreon Considers Public Listing as Soon as This Year
Patreon, the online service that allows podcasters, musicians and other artists to receive direct financial support from fans, is considering a public listing as soon as this year, said a person with knowledge of discussions.