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Apple To Take On Facebook, WhatsApp With The Launch Of Business Chat

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Apple is all set to make its presence felt in the instant messaging world with its newly announced Business Chat. This feature was announced last year at Apple’s worldwide developer conference and is likely to come out later this year.
The firm says Business Chat will launch with the iOS 11.3 update this spring. From what we hear, it is going to be loaded with some relevant features for businesses. Let’s find out more.
Why is ‘Business Chat’ relevant?
The use of mobile payments and ability to communicate one-on-one with businesses and consumers has proven fruitful to retailers. Business chat is specifically designed to strengthen the connectivity between businesses and consumers
The business Chat would be an added feature to the existing iMessage. Through this feature, consumers can now instantly initiate a dialogue with the company. It will also enable consumers to make payments via Apple Pay and accomplish other business/consumer obligations like filling forms, choosing products etc., depending on business’s needs.
The concept of personalisation in marketing is gaining momentum day by day. Companies need to seem easily approachable and technology can help them set up a friendly chat with consumers and that is where Business Chat comes in.
(source: Medium)
Giving iMessage a little nudge
Business is not the first thing that pops into your head when you hear iMessage which is mostly used for engaging in informal conversations with family and friends. Business Chat will inarguably make iMessage more useful than before. It will also provide stiff competition to Instant messaging giants- Facebook, Whatsapp, and Twitter.
What ‘Business Chat’ has that others don’t
Business Chat can be considered to be the most convenient app for customers trying to find companies. It enables users to search for a business via Safari Search, Siri or Maps and then start a conversation with a click on the chat button that appears next to the search result. No other business chat app features such a shortcut.
Apple Pay, another handy feature allows users to make hassle-free payments. This will end the cumbersome process of using third-party online wallets.
Major hiccups in ‘Business Chat’
Business Chat will be available only to Apple users. No doubt Apple has a very strong hold on the market but not all mobile phone users use iPhone. Businesses cannot simply ignore the m-commerce traffic generated by Android users and most of the companies are looking for viable chat options which can be operated on both Android and iOS platforms. This will limit the usefulness of Business Chat to a large extent.
Owing to the needs of marketers, Facebook recently launched ‘WhatsApp Business’ which is loaded with simple but cool features to make the consumer/business dialogue more interactive. A look at ‘WhatsApp Business’ reveals it is destined to achieve greatness but only time will tell how good it will fare against ‘Business Chat’.
All said and done, ‘Business Chat’ seems like a wonderful addition to its features but it’s too soon to predict the efficacy of the app in the real market as marketers have loads of options to choose from.
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