Apple recently, and quietly, introduced their “Business Chat” application, a solution that’s designed to transform iMessage into a platform that might just compete with the likes of Facebook Messenger. The company announced the service without much build-up in July, with a small update on its developer site. Today, there still aren’t many details available about the application.
What we do know, is that Business Chat sounds like it’s going to be Apple’s effort to start moving into a space that’s currently dominated by social media platforms. Twitter has already doubled down on their customer service to try and maintain customers, providing a range of new tools like quick replies, welcome messages, and chatbots.
What to Expect from Business Chat
Business Chat is set to emerge as part of the iOS 11 upgrade, and it will allow individuals to access iMessage windows from Spotlight, Maps, Safari or Siri so that they can begin conversations with businesses. The conversations available will include basic text chat, but Apple is also providing structures for more complicated interactions, such as scheduling a meeting or appointment.
In fact, Business Chat could be the most promising opportunity for Apple’s iMessage solution, providing businesses with a chance to include some of their app capabilities inside chat. For instance, Apple recently showed off a conversation where customers could select an airline seat without having to change apps.
At the moment, we’re still waiting for more details on Business Chat to come through, but for now, you should know that Business Chat is going to be integrated very deeply within the iOS operating system, and Apple native apps. The hope is that when customers are looking up business information, instead of simply getting a phone number, they’ll be able to start an instant chat session.
The Future of Apple Business Chat
Currently, the image being advertised for Apple Business Chat represents a session in action between a support representative and a customer wanting to know more about iPads. The session looks a lot like any other iMessage conversation, except there’s different colouring throughout the app.
Interesting, while other messaging competitors are focusing on things like chatbots and AI, it seems that Apple is focused on developing a more human customer experience. That can be seen in the simple fact that clients on the app have to initiate the conversation they have with their chosen company, rather than it being the other way around.
Today, Apple is allowing businesses and developers to create integrations and test with Business chat.