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Google's Business Messaging might be replaced by surprise alternatives

And they might not come from Google at all.
By

Published onJune 6, 2024

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Rita El Khoury / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Google is working on a replacement for its sunsetting Business Messaging chat feature.
  • Early evidence suggests that WhatsApp and SMS are now two potential options for business communication.
  • The current messaging service will be shuttered at the end of July.

Earlier this week, we reported that Google is sunsetting its Business Messaging (aka Business Profile) chat feature, which forms a core part of Google Maps and Search’s company-to-customer communications. Now, two unlikely successors are already stepping up to the plate, but neither are Google properties.

As spotted by X (formerly Twitter) user and marketing professional Francastrokw (h/t: SE Roundtable), European businesses can soon converse with customers via WhatsApp and SMS. Some X users from India and the US have also spotted the new options.

When one door closes, another opens.
Goodbye Business Messages but…now, (in Europe) Google Business profile gives us the option to chat with customers via WhatsApp or SMS. pic.twitter.com/tNY1vVxFPO
— Francastrokw (@FrancastroKW) June 4, 2024

Both users and customers will likely have mixed feelings about this change. On the one hand, the new solutions would allow businesses to reach even more users, considering WhatsApp’s massive user base and SMS’s ubiquity. However, neither are integrated solutions. Google’s marketing still suggests that Business Messaging is an excellent solution for businesses that “help[s] route calls to chat, increase sales, and improve customer satisfaction.” It’s curious why Google isn’t implementing one of its many existing alternative chat solutions to fulfill this role.

I should stress that implementing WhatsApp and SMS as alternatives isn’t yet official. Google may decide to include additional options at a later date. More options, and therefore more choices for customers and businesses, would be welcome.

How do you prefer to communicate with businesses?

43 votes

However, Google has little time to iron out its replacement for Business Messaging. The service will effectively shut out new customers on July 15, as no new messages to businesses can be initiated after this date. The feature’s permanent removal will follow at the end of July. Google advises businesses to back up their chats before this date.

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