Apple brings Customer Service and Shopping to iMessage with Business Chat

While chat apps have taken over as an all important communication tools, innovation is mostly driven by user experience and the tight competition; Apple in a bid to turn its iMessage app into a viable communication platform, has launched "Business Chat" feature to compete with Facebook Messenger – and perhaps, make iMessage one of the main ways users interact with businesses.

Launching alongside iOS 11, Business Chat will allow users to open iMessage window from Safari, Maps, Spotlight, or Siri, and start a conversation with a business brand.

First spotted in Apple's developer site, the Business chat service was finally unveiled in a session at the company's annual event, Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC 2017).

Business chat will invariably feature conversations including basic text chats, with support and structure for more complex interactions, like scheduling an appointment.

With the overriding idea that businesses can show-off some of their capabilities, for instance, Apple showed off a conversation where the consumer could actually choose their airline seat, all within the chat app.

The initial business partners include LivePerson, Salesforce, Nuance and Genesys. And the launch version is limited to human-to-human conversations, though Apple may be planning to add chat bots in the future.

Meanwhile Apple has opened it up for developers and businesses to test and create app integration within the Business Chat.
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