What Should Separate Facebook's Moneypenny From Siri, Cortana

What Should Separate Facebook's Moneypenny From Siri, Cortana
Easy Access on All Platforms
Quick Availability of Human Concierge
Don't Discount the Importance of Digital Help
Moneypenny Must Be Platform-Agnostic
Continually Improve the Service
Don't Force Users to Stick With Native Facebook Services
But Make It Easy to Find Things on Facebook
Anticipate User Needs, Like Cortana
Use Humans to Make It 'Smarter,' Not Just Easier
Ensure User Privacy Each Step of the Way
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What Should Separate Facebook's Moneypenny From Siri, Cortana

By Don Reisinger

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Easy Access on All Platforms

One of the nice things about integrating Moneypenny into Facebook Messenger is that it would be available on just about any platform. Facebook Messenger would automatically run on Android, iOS and all other platforms that Facebook runs on. Having Moneypenny running everywhere Messenger is available will be critical to its success.

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Quick Availability of Human Concierge

If Facebook is going to rely on humans to drive the value of Moneypenny, the company must make sure that users will have easy access to those concierge services. Moneypenny won't work if users have to wait minutes on a phone or in a chat session for someone to respond to a service request. Siri and Cortana provide instant results. Facebook must offer similarly fast results or it will be a flop. This also raises the question of whether a service that relies on people to deliver the services will be scalable.

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Don't Discount the Importance of Digital Help

Relying on humans sounds like a great idea on the surface, but it won't work if Facebook doesn't also offer a virtual personal assistant to complement that offering. Siri and Cortana are useful for providing basic, easy-to-find information from around the Web, and relying on a human for that seems rather unnecessary. Facebook should consider integrating virtual personal assistant help in Moneypenny.

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Moneypenny Must Be Platform-Agnostic

Facebook cannot afford to give preferential treatment to certain services simply because it doesn't like the alternative. Facebook may prefer Bing over Google, but that doesn't mean the company shouldn't use Google if it delivers a better experience. The ultimate goal with Moneypenny is to offer the very best results and to offer a better solution than Google or Apple.

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Continually Improve the Service

If Siri's and Cortana's advancements have taught us anything, it's that continuous improvement is an absolute necessity. Over time, both platforms have received behind-the-scenes updates to improve the quality of their information and make them more useful. Facebook needs to closely monitor how users engage with Moneypenny so it can learn how to improve and refine the service.

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Don't Force Users to Stick With Native Facebook Services

One of the easiest ways for Moneypenny to catch the ire of its users is if the service continues to drive people back to its own offerings. Not everyone looking for a picture wants to see what's on Facebook first, and even if there's a news item they're interested in, delivering Facebook's own news feed results isn't the best place to start. Moneypenny may be a Facebook product, but it doesn't need to force users to live there to see its value. Moreover, it shouldn't require users to even be Facebook users to try it out.

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But Make It Easy to Find Things on Facebook

While Moneypenny shouldn't drive people solely to Facebook, it should (and likely will) provide easy access to content that's on the site. So, if a person asks to see more about a particular Facebook friend, the service should quickly bring that person to the friend's profile. If a person wants to search Facebook for an old high school sweetheart, Moneypenny should react accordingly by delivering relevant results. Integration with Facebook could be quite attractive, as long as it's not overdone.

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Anticipate User Needs, Like Cortana

One of the nicest things about Microsoft's Cortana is that it's constantly learning what users are up to and determining how it can be of help to them throughout the day. So, if a user has an event on the calendar, Cortana may provide traffic advice or other relevant information. It's a neat feature that's sorely lacking in Siri and could make Moneypenny a useful alternative to Apple's offering.

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Use Humans to Make It 'Smarter,' Not Just Easier

Much of the talk surrounding Moneypenny suggests that the platform will be easier to use than those that it would compete with in the mobile space. But beyond that, Moneypenny must be smarter than competitors. One could argue that Cortana is smarter than Siri and is a better service for those seeking information. It's also why Cortana received so much attention in a brief period of time. To attract attention, Moneypenny should be smarter than Cortana and Siriā€”not just be easier to use. Image 9: Please use this image:

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Ensure User Privacy Each Step of the Way

One of the core tenets of Facebook is sharing information. But one of the core requirements of virtual personal assistants is to safeguard user privacy. Moneypenny mustn't share information with Facebook friends and advertisers or offer insight into what users are employing the service for. Moneypenny must be extremely private and secure.

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