Facebook Inc (FB) Invests in Voice-to-Text Transcription Technology for Messenger

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is now in the process of testing voice-to-text transcription for its Messenger app, according to Facebook vice president of messaging products David Marcus, in a statement made at the Digital Life Design Conference in Munich. According to Marcus, the machine-learning based technology could be popular in Asia, where some languages particularly presents a challenge to typing.

Last year, the Messenger App have been at the center of complaints from Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) users when the social networking giant decided to offer it as a separate app for the site’s mobile users. Accordingly, it got a low rating at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s App Store, although it remained one of the most downloaded apps as per data released in December of last year. The app currently enables users to send voice clips, but text transcription along with the clips will elevate it above other messaging apps. “Our plan is to test this feature at a tiny scale for now and we’re looking forward to seeing what you think of it before making the experience more widely available,” according to Facebook’s David Marcus.

Facebook (FB)Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), according to Marcus, is looking for ways by which it can generate revenue from the Messenger app, but notes that revenue generation is not a priority this time. He observed that there are messaging apps in Asia that sell content, particularly in China where some apps serve as a platform of “whole ecosystems of commerce”. Facebook, however, “don’t want to put advertising all over the place,” according to Marcus. He said that advertising can be done in a different way, such as in sponsored content.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) currently owns 2 other messaging platforms apart from the Messenger App, WhatsApp, which has 700 million active users per month, and Instagram, which boasts of 300 million monthly active users. According to Marcus, the Android and iOS focused Messenger is more “media rich” among the three, and Facebook is planning to use the app as a platform for communication between businesses and consumers.

This article has been written by Nonito Guntan.

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