Apple aims to turn iMessage into an interactive business platform, and in the same vein, the company rolls out Apple Business Chat in iMessage with 24/7 customer support and shopping feature. However, this is not the first time when any chatting app morphed into business communication platform; Facebook has also tweaked its Messenger with Chat bots to take it to the next level of business interaction. Seemingly, new iMessage will jockey with Facebook Messenger in this regard.

The company first unveiled this feature earlier this week much did not provide much of the details that time. Today was the day when company demonstrated this Apple Business Chat update in iMessage and came up with following details.

Moreover, it is worth mentioning that Apple business chat will come with iOS 11 update and the users can get their hands on this feature by opening it with Siri, Safari, Spotlight or Maps and get the ball rolling with communicating to your businesses. The app will allow you to have basic plain text and some additional nifty feature like setting a reminder for any meeting or appointment, inquiring from customer support and filing any dispute right there from the same message thread. Safe to say, this tweaked version of iMessage is much of a perfect combination of both Facebook Messenger and customer service feature of Twitter.

The users can shop any product from the chat window as you do on Messenger but unlike Messenger, the payment will only be made by Apple Pay. There will be several outsource customer service product to be integrated with Apple Business Chat, in the beginning,  LivePerson, Nuance, Salesforce, and Genesys are the partners in providing customer service product.

Unlike Facebook Messenger, Apple wants this business chat to keep it between human to human only with no chatbots involved at this initial stage; though Apple might consider it in the future. This Apple Business Chat feature is presently being proffered in developers preview, and the interested businesses can subscribe here, and once they get approval, they will be allowed to whitelist their staff to tools development before they go public.

Undoubtedly it is a pretty much useful idea to bring all the relevant tools under one app, where the users can communicate with businesses, they can also shop, book flights, schedule appointments, accessing customer support, etc. without the need of installing a separate app for each the tasks. However, both ideas of Facebook Messenger revamped, and Apple Business Chat seems an inspiration to the already booming Asia’s big e-commerce LINE and WeChat. It will be interesting to see whether or not these apps could make room for themselves in that highly competitive market.

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