Monday, June 24, 2024

Google To Shut Down Business Profile Chat Feature

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Google has announced that it will discontinue the chat feature in Google Business Profiles.

The wind-down process will start on July 15, and the functionality will complete on July 31.

The news was emailed to businesses, acknowledging the potential difficulty of the decision and emphasizing Google’s commitment to remaining a helpful partner in business management.

Google’s email to businesses reads:

“We are reaching out to share that we will be winding down Google’s chat feature in Google Business Profile on July 31, 2024. We acknowledge this may be difficult news – as we continually improve our tools, we occasionally have to make difficult decisions which may impact the businesses and partners we work with. It’s important to us that Google remains a helpful partner as you manage your business and we remain committed to this mission.

Google will stop creating new conversations after July 15, and chat functionality will fully end on July 31. Please note, customers will still be able to find and contact your business via Google Search and Maps – and learn more information about you from your website links, business description, photos, and anything else you share on your Business Profile.”

Impact On Businesses & Customers

Starting July 15, customers can no longer initiate new chat conversations with businesses through Google.

Customers currently engaged in chat conversations will receive notifications informing them of the upcoming phase-out of the chat feature.

However, customers will still be able to locate and contact businesses using Google Search and Maps and access information through website links, business descriptions, photos, and other elements shared on Business Profiles.

Google’s Decision To Discontinue Business Chat

Google says the decision to wind down the chat feature is part of ongoing efforts to streamline its offerings.

To assist businesses in the transition, Google has provided guidance on the next steps:

  1. Chat History Download: Businesses that wish to retain a record of their past Business Profile chats can download their chat history of customer conversations using Google Takeout.
  2. Alternative Chat Solutions: Google suggests that businesses invite customers to alternative chat solutions to continue conversations seamlessly.

Background & Context

Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business, is a free tool for businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. The chat feature enabled customers to communicate directly with companies through their Business Profiles.

While the chat functionality will no longer be available, Google remains committed to providing a platform for companies to manage their online presence and connect with customers.

Featured Image: Vladimka production/Shutterstock

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