There is a race on among local solutions providers to deploy tools for small businesses that address the abrupt changes in consumer and business behavior brought on by the recent lockdowns.
Facebook has joined this race, after initially being seen as a bit slow to engage. In April, for example. we covered the launch of Messenger Rooms, which was essentially Facebook’s answer to Zoom.
New Tools for Small Businesses
This week Facebook has rollout out several initiatives, the most important being Businesses Nearby. This is a new section that features the latest posts for local businesses. Setting can range from one to 500 miles, but five miles appears to be the default setting.
Here is how Facebook describes it in a blog post:
Through Businesses Nearby people can learn what’s happening with their neighborhood shops, message them or order food and buy goods from them through third-party apps. This will also help businesses see more virtual foot traffic as they move online to stay open.
Facebook also announced changes to the Business Inbox on Messenger. Again, from the blog post announcing the new features:
To improve how businesses stay connected with their customers in this critical time, we will be launching a major upgrade of the Business Inbox in Messenger, making it easy for businesses to communicate with customers directly in the Messenger app. With just a few clicks, businesses can also leverage our Chat Plugin to enable seamless chat experiences on their websites.
Facebook and Instagram have added a few other features to support small businesses, including a “Support Small Business” sticker on Instagram and access to Covid-19 related tools, tips, and best practices through the Business Resource Hub.
Fast-Tracking Relevant Products
We’ve also been covering companies across the Localogy ecosystem answering the bell with new products, features, and partnerships fast-tracked to meet new customer needs.
Here are a few examples from the past few weeks.