Back in 2015, Facebook announced its own virtual assistant by the name of "M." M was different from the likes of Siri and Alexa due to the fact that it was regularly monitored by a group of humans to help grow the platform, and because of this, M could do things book reservations, order gifts, and more. The assistant was only ever made available to a small group of people in California, and on January 19, 2018, Facebook will be shutting it down.

In a statement that the company issued, Facebook said:

We launched this project to learn what people needed and expected of an assistant, and we learned a lot. We're taking these useful insights to power other AI projects at Facebook. We continue to be very pleased with the performance of M suggestions in Messenger, powered by our learnings from this experiment.

As mentioned above, M Suggestions that was released for all users in the United States last April will live on. M Suggestions isn't as powerful as the full M assistant, but it can be used in Messenger conversations to suggest stickers that you can use, create calendar appointments, etc.

M showed signs of real potential, and while it might be disappointing to some users to see it die, we're anxiously awaiting to see how Facebook uses this tech with future products and services.

Until then, rest in peace, M.

The first baby monitor with Alexa is coming in February for $229