iOS 11 Will Introduce ‘Business Chat’ in Messages

While Apple had plenty of things to announce during its keynote to start this year’s WWDC, there are some elements that didn’t make the cut.

And, as The Verge reports, one of those features might be a direct response to some customer support initiatives already in place from the likes of Twitter and Facebook. It’s called “Business Chat,” and it will apparently allow iMessage users to quickly start up a chat conversation between businesses. Or, more specifically, a businesses’ customer service representatives.

Details are light on the feature for now, but Apple has indeed published a dedicated microsite for the feature. Business Chat will apparently get the official unveiling on Friday, May 9, at 10:00 AM PDT, the tail-end of the WWDC event as a whole. Here’s how Apple explains it:

“Business Chat is a powerful new way for businesses to connect with customers directly from within Messages. Using Business Chat, your customers can get answers to questions, resolve issues and complete transactions on their iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Customers can find your business and start conversations from Safari, Maps, Spotlight, and Siri.”

Apple also says that Business Chat will feature calendar integration, as well as Apple Pay built right in. That would seem to make sense, considering the image that Apple includes with its Business Chat, as you can see at the top of this post, is a father that’s talking with an Apple Customer Support rep talking about buying an iPad Pro for his daughter.

Twitter offers this sort of thing through its Direct Message feature, and Facebook has something similar in place as well — with a lot of companies signing on to let users message them when they might need assistance. If Apple can roll Business Chat out with support from a variety of different companies, it might be a better resource for iOS users.

[via The Verge; Apple]