Updated: April 13, 2019
2019. WhatsApp Business app adds customer service features to its desktop and web apps
A year ago, WhatsApp officially introduced its standalone app aimed at small business customers. And now it’s making the app easier to use on the desktop and the web by porting over several of the most popular features that were previously available only on mobile. These include tools to organize and filter chats, as well as to quickly reply to customer inquiries. Quick Replies feature lets businesses respond to common questions from customers with pre-written replies. It joins several other customer service features, like automated greeting messages that are triggered when the customer pings the business account, or away messages that can be scheduled for those times when you’re not able to immediately answer new inquiries.
2018. Yahoo Messenger is shutting down
Yahoo Messenger, one of the first instant messengers, will shut down the service on July 17. The company is not specific about its reasons for shutting down Messenger, but the writing has been on the wall for some time, given the dominance today of Facebook’s WhatsApp and Messenger, Snapchat, WeChat and a number of others. Notably, Oath also shut down AIM, AOL’s equivalent messaging app, in October. Yahoo says that you can download your chat history on Messenger for the next six months by going here. Files go to your computer or device — but not specifically to another messaging app.
2018. Google unveils new messenger Chat
Google is launching a new messaging service simply called Chat, and it's the latest, and hopefully best effort by the tech giant to simplify the messaging offering on Android. Chat is a rich communication service (RCS) that Google has been pushing carriers and smartphone makers to adopt. It'll add features like read receipts, being able to see other people typing, full-resolution images and video, and group texting. Chat will not feature end-to-end encryption — leaving your message open to legal interception. 55 carriers, 11 manufacturers, and two operating system makers (Google and Microsoft) have signed up to Chat so far.
2018. Telegram’s new widget lets businesses connect with users
Messaging app Telegram rolled out a web login widget. The new feature will allow website owners (business owners) to connect with Telegram users right from their site using a Telegram bot. Matching the bot with a web plugin creates a system that could allow businesses to send reminders, confirmation of sales, updates and more information direct to customers via chats. Recall, that Facebook last year launched a plug-in that lets businesses connect with users via Messenger, while it is also developing business-focused apps to let companies tap into its 1.5 billion monthly userbase with payments set to arrive soon, too.
2017. Facebook Messenger adds plugin for business websites
Facebook Messenger is coming to business websites. The new plugin allows customers to talk directly with businesses on their websites using Messenger, and continue those conversations across web, mobile and tablet devices. Not only does the ability to use Messenger mean the business is making itself available within an application that now reaches some 1.2 billion monthly users and growing, the Messenger platform also supports features like payments, bots that understand natural language, and rich media, among other things. Like other web chat systems, the Messenger chat plugin is designed to hover over top the business’s web page, and is indicated by the familiar, blue Messenger icon.
2017. LinkedIn makes its messenger smarter
LinkedIn is unveiling a new smart reply feature in its messaging app, which gives users prompts with different phrases to use while they are chatting to keep the conversation flowing. The feature is launching in English first in LinkedIn’s mobile app and on desktop. LinkedIn says that it plans to roll it out to more languages sometime in the future. And users can opt out of the smart reply feature in their settings. LinkedIn has been trying suggested replies since January, but the key difference in today’s news is that the company is now using more AI tools like machine learning and more sophisticated natural language processing to be able to understand the gist of a conversation and how to help keep it going.