New tools make it easier to run a business across Facebook's app ecosystem

The tech giant said that it wants its “family of apps to be the best place for businesses, especially SMBs"

Facebook has rolled out a series of features that aim to help businesses better connect with customers across its platforms, as the ability to advertise through tracking declines and Facebook’s feud with Apple escalates.

The new tools include a WhatsApp click-to-chat button on Instagram profiles, a price quote request on Messenger, and the option to buy ads that allow potential customers to message the business with a single click, whether through Messenger, Instagram Direct, or WhatsApp.

The new tools are the latest in Facebook’s attempt to turn its titular social media platform into an online shopping destination – not just for individual users selling unwanted items through Marketplace, but for businesses, too.

In a company announcement, Facebook said that it wants its “family of apps to be the best place for businesses, especially SMBs, to run their business online”.

“That’s why we are announcing new products to help businesses connect with their customers and simplify day-to-day management.

The tech giant is also in the process of trialling Work Accounts, which aim to allow business users to operate Business Manager without requiring a personal Facebook account. If successful, it will likely begin rolling out in 2022.

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Moreover, Facebook announced that it will be expanding the availability of its Business Explore tool, which allows customers and business owners to connect in “one, easy and centralised place”. Apart from the US, Facebook Business Explore will become available in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, as well as the UK.

The bevy of new business features come as an aftermath of Apple’s decision to have users of apps, including Facebook, be met with a prompt asking whether they consent to ad tracking, in an effort to bolster user privacy.

Facebook has been a fierce opponent of the move and has publicly fought Apple on its rollout, managing to delay the pop-ups’ launch in September 2020 by arguing that it would knock the revenues of its advertising partners.

In December 2020, Apple added new privacy labels to all apps on its App Store as part of its new iOS 14.3 update and, two months later, Facebook began pushing its own notification asking for users to consent to targeted advertising in an attempt to “provide more information”.

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