Apple Is Bringing Business Chat to iMessage in iOS 11
It looks like Apple is coming straight for Facebook with their new Business Chat functionality, built into iMessage.
"Business Chat is a powerful new way for businesses to connect with customers directly from within Messages," Apple says. "Using Business Chat, your customers can get answers to questions, resolve issues and complete transactions on their iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch."
"Integrated into Messages and discoverable through Maps, Siri, Search, as well as your own app and website, Business Chat helps you build persistent, long-lasting relationships with your customers,"
The biggest direct competitor in this space probably Facebook's Messenger app, which connects customers to businesses with a Facebook presence. Facebook says that "more than 2 billion messages are sent between people and businesses every month on Messenger, both automated and people-initiated. You can use Messenger to reach people at scale, then continue to talk with each of them individually."
For those using Apple products, Business Chat could become a simpler-to-access, more convenient replacement for Messenger when talking to customers, though most businesses probably don't want to be using multiple customer service platforms, especially when one only targets a select group of people — iPhone and Mac users.