Cash machine learning: Facebook Messenger makes paying back pals a breeze


Facebook Messenger may be a one-stop shop for making plans with the besties, but even a leading chat app isn’t exempt from group indecision and an even bigger social bane: reminding friends to pay you back.

Thankfully, Messenger is adding just the features to combat these hurdles, allowing chatters to vote on choices in-app, as well as use the service’s built-in apps to make sure you don’t forget about your latest IOU.

The polling feature works like it says on the tin – a user in the Messenger chat group can make up a list of options and ask the rest of the room for a vote.

This feature is especially useful for those too-open-minded-for-their-own-good outings, where precious hours are lost deciding where to go or what to eat that night.

Image Credit TechCrunch

The second – and much more technically impressive – feature utilizes Facebook’s budding chatbot system.

The machine learning algorithm catches phrases like “I owe you X” or “please pay me X” and offers a chance to pay immediately via services like Venmo, PayPal, or Square without leaving Messenger – especially convenient for the more forgetful among us who still need to chip in on last night’s pizza.

Image Credit TechCrunch

The new features roll out today on iOS and Android in the US, and plan to expand globally if they are received well. We don’t see that being too much an issue, as we already owe the site some gratitude for helping us avoid similar faux pas to forgetting to pay someone back, like forgetting a friend’s birthday.

Body Image Credit: TechCrunch

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