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Facebook Rolls out Inbox on Messenger to Help Businesses Communicate with Customers

By Donna Fuscaldo – Jun 9, 2020 at 1:50PM

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Facebook has been courting small businesses ever since the pandemic hit the U.S.

Facebook (META -1.42%) is making it easier for businesses to interact with customers on Messenger, announcing a new business inbox. 

In a blog post Mike Weingert, product manager for Messenger said that with the addition of a business inbox, businesses will easily be able to go back and forth between personal and business conversations in one app. 

Social media icons as pool balls against a blue background.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

"According to our research, over 90% of Facebook business admins already use Messenger to chat with friends and family, and we hear from many that they don't want to download and manage multiple apps," wrote Weingert.

Facebook also understands that most customers expect an immediate response to inquiries. The inbox on Messenger will enable businesses to more quickly respond to customers, as businesses will be able to schedule alerts. The new business inbox in Messenger is rolling out on iOS as of today and will land on Android in the next few weeks. 

Facebook said the business inbox isn't designed to replace its Page Manager App, which enables businesses to receive messages, manage Facebook posts, develop ads, and view insight into their traffic and pageviews, but rather complement it. Facebook announced plans to add a business inbox to Messenger in May. 

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic made its way to the U.S., Facebook has been taking steps to help small businesses harmed by shelter-in-place orders. The tech stock is also going after that group in a bigger way as online shopping has become the new normal amid the pandemic. 

In May, it announced Facebook Shops, a new initiative that enables businesses to sell products directly from Facebook and/or Instagram. The shops are free for small businesses to create and will live on their existing accounts. Facebook will eventually roll out the service on Messenger and WhatsApp. 

Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Donna Fuscaldo has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Facebook. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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