Facebook has announced a variety of new tools for small businesses, including the option to directly video and audio call from the Facebook inbox, and an appointment booking functionality to better facilitate connection between businesses and customers.
The new calling option that Facebook is testing will be available in the Business Inbox in Messenger. It will allow selected businesses to make audio and video calls directly from chat streams with customers, hence providing the opportunity for immediate connection. It is meant to help facilitate business queries in a better way.
In addition to that, businesses will now be able to access live audio rooms. According to Facebook, the functionality will let them “host live conversations on topics relevant to their customers, and people can discover them across Facebook.” The live audio rooms will provide the host options to invite friends, followers, creators or any listeners in the room as speakers.
Next, Facebook is also working on providing appointment booking tools to small businesses. These will help businesses schedule appointments with customers in a quick and easy way, directly on their Facebook Page. The tools can also be synced with popular booking tools and Google Calendar, to help with data integration in real-time.
Facebook is also developing new prompts to support small businesses when people engage with a small business ad. For instance, when a user engages with an ad, they will be shown a message where they are explained how engaging with ads from SMBs can help the business grow its presence.
Facebook states, “72% of US small businesses who use personalized ads say it’s important to their success, so we’ll continue to test more ways to highlight how personalized ads are an important way people discover small businesses on Facebook and Instagram and help small businesses grow from an idea into a livelihood.”