Facebook Messenger users are familiar with an alert that lets you know that a friend has joined Messenger or somebody on Messenger has accepted your friend request, but since many individuals aren't entirely happy with the frequency of these alerts, Facebook will be working toward figuring out whom to send fewer of these or none at all to in the near future. According to a Facebook spokesperson who talked to TechCrunch, the company will be using machine learning to tell who appreciates and uses these alerts, and who sees them as a nuisance clogging up their chat logs.
These Messenger alerts happen whenever you connect on Messenger with somebody who doesn't have a Facebook account, when a Facebook user with the Messenger app downloaded accepts your friend request, or when a friend downloads Messenger. Since they're not an actual indicator of a friend wanting to chat, it's easy to see how they can go unappreciated. Users who actively open the alerts and look at them, especially those who actually fire up a chat after getting an alert, will continue to receive them as usual. Those who leave them alone or delete them, meanwhile, will eventually stop getting them. Facebook did not point out any further specifics as to how it may work, but with machine learning involved, it's possible that getting fewer alerts from Facebook friends and leaning toward getting alerts from Messenger-only pals is also on the table.
Most tech giants have been addressing smartphone addiction and other tech-addicted behaviors in some capacity lately, and this action could be seen as Facebook's resolve to follow suit. It could, of course, just as easily be Facebook's concession that many users simply think that these alerts are annoying and largely irrelevant. In any case, changing this behavior is also another step toward the integration of AI and machine learning in consumer-facing mobile tech, a trend that's already on the move. Google is the strongest proponent of consumer-facing AI in mobile applications, but just about any company or independent app maker can hop on board with the advent of onboard machine learning in the last couple of mobile processor generations, such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and Samsung Exynos 8895.