Facebook recently updated its Messenger app with Spotify music suggestions which users are able to receive by interacting with M, the company's very own artificial intelligence (AI) assistant that's been in development for some time now. As seen in the screenshot below, any generic command containing the word "music," "song," or "track" without specifically mentioning the name of a musical piece will see M offer to recommend you some music through Spotify. The digital companion will do so by presenting you with a simple Spotify icon with a "Find Music" message attached next to it, and tapping the button will send you to Spotify. The functionality itself is also tied with Messenger's native support for Spotify links that can be shared within the app itself, though it's currently unclear whether Facebook's AI service serves recommendations that are solely based on Spotify's algorithms or if it also attempts to modify the suggestions by itself. The feature is reportedly live in all territories where M is officially supported and can also be turned off in the assistant's Settings menu.
The move marks the latest step in Facebook's endeavor to better integrate Spotify and a number of other third-party platforms into Messenger with the ultimate goal of improving its user retention rate. Messenger is currently the most popular instant messaging (IM) solution on the planet with over a billion users, yet the platform itself is still not monetized in what Facebook's investors deem is an effective manner. During a conference call with analysts held after the company published its consolidated financial report for the second quarter of 2017, Facebook co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said that the tech giant will commit more resources to monetizing Messenger in the coming months, and many industry watchers see raising user retention rates as an integral part of this endeavor.
After spinning off Messenger as a standalone service in 2015, Facebook put a lot of effort into evolving its IM app into a more comprehensive Internet platform with support for calls, games, e-commerce, and social media functionalities. The Menlo Park, California-based tech giant will likely continue pursuing that product strategy in the coming years, though it remains to be seen whether it also manages to monetize it more effectively in the long term.