Voice commands could be coming to Facebook Messenger

Facebook is working on some new improvements for Facebook Messenger. Perhaps the most intriguing of these new features are the test voice commands which TechCrunch reports are in internal development at Facebook.

According to the development code for Messenger’s Android app, future versions of the app could contain an ‘M’ Messenger assistant button which would be used to activate voice commands. The details of the app’s functionality haven’t been revealed, and are likely still in development. Some obvious benefits could include composing messages while driving, making Messenger easier to use for those with certain disabilities, or perhaps even translation capabilities.

While Facebook isn’t ready to announce anything about the future of voice commands for Messenger, the company did confirm that the software was being tested internally.

“We often experiment with new experiences on Messenger with employees. We have nothing more to share at this time,” a Facebook representative told TechCrunch.

Considering how many different options users have for messaging services, it’s not surprising that Facebook is eager to come up with ways to entice users away from iMessage or other competitors. Some of those features aren’t always a success, but the voice commands might prove to be a hit. Unlike some of the other concepts which Facebook has tried, such as integrating games into Messenger, the voice commands won’t distract users from the core experience of using the service.  Instead, they’ll simply provide a new way for users to utilize Messenger when they’re driving or otherwise unable to type out a message.

Of course, there is no guarantee that voice commands will be coming to Messenger anytime soon. Facebook’s comments to TechCrunch gave no indication about how far along in development the feature is. It could be ready within a matter of weeks or it could launch sometime next year. On the other hand, it’s possible that this feature will never see the light of day. Companies often conduct internal testing of new features and many of those never reach public users. If Facebook feels that voice commands aren’t a good fit for Messenger, it may simply remain an idle curiosity.

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