The Information just reported Facebook currently testing a beta version of its new concierge service, internally known as “Moneypenny” (for those who’ve never heard about James Bond – that’s his assistant).
Facebook says more than 700 million people use Messenger every month.
Competitors include Magic, Operator, GoButler and Fetch. Magic raised $120k and works as a personal shopper dealing with vendors. Operator seems similar but raised $10m in series A. Same with Fetch which raised $2.3m in seed. These services are really hyperlocal and, despite having a strong client user base, Facebook still needs to build relationship with vendors, establish user payment processing, order taking, returns, etc. Facebook having a global user base gives it a great advantage but this market is global and new entrants can start by building strong focus in high-density areas. As per GoButler’s website they are already available in USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, France and the Netherlands. Magic is available in the US and accepts Bitcoins.
With 700 million Messenger users a month Facebook has a great advantage. Or not. Is Messenger payments taking off as well? Remains to be seen (we should pay attention in FB’s next earnings call to learn more). Would a concierge service dilute the messaging function? Other competitors are specialized and focused so users may likely turn to them for dedicated service.