Facebook wants to make it easier to solicit your friends’ opinions and pay them back, as the social media giant has rolled out new features for Messenger users on iOS and Android, according to TechCrunch.
The new polls feature allows a Messenger user to write a question in a group chat and several possible answers, such as “sushi” or “pizza,” and the other members of the chat can then weigh in on the options to see which is the most popular, helpful for a large group trying to make a decision about where to eat that night or what to do over the weekend.
“We look at this chat assist function with polls and payments as just another example of offering help to make Messenger users lives easier — like offering a ride with Uber, for example,” a Facebook spokesman told TechCrunch.
Messenger has also rolled out a payments chat assist feature that uses machine learning to scan the messages that users write looking for instances where users might be owed money. For example, if a user typed, “You still owe me that $20” in one of their messages, the payment chat assist feature would trigger a payment button below the message with the option to “Pay $20.”
The user can then click on the link and make a payment by entering their debit card number (the function will also save a user’s debit card info so they don’t have to reenter it each and every time).
Facebook launched its one-to-one payments option last year, but the revamp of its Messenger functions seems like an attempt to lure people away from apps exclusively dedicated to payments, like Venmo or PayPal, and increasingly keep them interacting with Facebook.