Facebook May Launch Smart Display to International Markets First
Last week it was reported that Facebook would delay the launch of its smart displays until October and that order volumes had been cut by as much as 20%. Now new reports indicate that Facebook may further delay its product launch in the US and target international markets first reports CNBC:
Facebook is mulling a plan to sell its upcoming smart speakers internationally before launching them in the U.S., as American users and politicians have increased their focus on Facebook and user privacy, according to two people who have had discussions with the company about the devices.
A Global Facebook Voice Assistant
The sources also indicate that Facebook still plans to use the underlying artificial intelligence technology that powered its personal assistant chatbot “M” by developing it into the M voice assistant. The new voice assistant will power both of the rumored new Facebook smart displays and could be potentially given a name that starts with “M” such as Marvin. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering Facebook debuted M Translations at this week’s F8 conference. The new product translates foreign languages into the user’s native language, which may enable its forthcoming voice assistant to be multi-lingual.
This is a must if Facebook wants to to launch internationally first instead of in the US, which is already heavily competitive in the smart speaker market, with Amazon and Google leading the pack. An international launch could also help Facebook generate good press about its new smart displays, which the company desperately needs in the US after recent public scrutiny on how Facebook uses its member’s personal data. All press isn’t always necessarily good press.