Facebook Moneypenny: site working on digital assistant to tell users what to buy

Robot will be built into Messenger app, and will connect them to ‘real people’ to help them talk to shops

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The Independent Tech

Facebook is building a digital assistant that will be able to tell people what to buy, according to reports.

The new software will be able to help people out through Messenger, its chat platform. It won’t be so similar to Cortana, Siri or Google Now — the assistants built by the big tech companies — instead focusing on help people research products and then handing them off to real people, according to The Information.

The new service will work like a concierge, according to the report. Like competitors including Operator and GoButler, it will aim to help connect users to the people that they want to order products from.

Facebook is trying to build Messenger into a fully-fledged shopping platform, as well as a chat app. Earlier this year it showed off the ability to pay through it and added apps — meaning that users could track their purchases through the app, rather than receiving emails.