Apple unveils Business Chat, which brings customer service and shopping into iMessage

Apple just unveiled Business Chat, its bid to turn iMessage into a communication platform that can compete with Facebook Messenger – and perhaps, tirn iMessage into one of the main ways you interact with businesses.

The company quietly announced the service earlier this week with an update to its developer site, but few details were available at the time. Today was the real introduction, with a session at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference.

Business Chat will be part of iOS 11, allowing individuals to open an iMessage window from Safari, Maps, Spotlight, or Siri, and start a conversation with a business. Those conversations will include basic text chats, but Apple is also offering support and structure for more complex interactions, like scheduling an appointment.

In fact,…

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