Apple is introducing Business Chat to the masses. As the name implies, the service is actually a platform that will let people interact with businesses from within the confines of iMessage. Apple appears to be hoping that the service will eventually turn into one of the main ways people start communicating with businesses.
Announcing the service through a session at the ongoing WWDC, the company said:
Business Chat is a powerful new way for businesses to connect with customers directly in 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.
So basically, customers will be able to access businesses from all sorts of apps including Safari, Maps, Spotlight, and Siri, and different devices within Apple’s ecosystem. This sort of cross-platform flexibility has the potential to prove to be a great help to users, who would be able to contact businesses as and when the need should arise, without second thoughts.
Business Chat also supports Apple Pay. Which means that you can use the service to sift through products and make purchases as and when you should wish to.
And Apple’s ultimate aim here is to ensure that voice interactions are replaced by activities you could do within the iMessage application. The company even showed of an example wherein a user’s ticket booking for an airlines was initiated and completed from within the iMessage app.
This sort of a platform could really open up a lot o doors for Apple. And of course, things become a lot more convenient for businesses and customers as well and instead of hunting through the web, things become as simple as thinking about something and directly contacting the provider via messaging.
Though reminiscent of what Facebook has been doing with chatbots, this service is currently limited to human interaction. Of course, it would be totally up to Apple to add chatbot support in the future and indeed, if the service picks up and gains in popularity, the sheer volume will force the company t resort to automation.