Google is discontinuing a helpful tool that allowed direct communication with businesses

Google has recently announced that it will be shutting down the chat and call history features within Google Business Profile. The wind-down process will begin on July 15, 2024, with full support for these functionalities ending by July 31. Businesses utilizing these features were informed of this decision via email, with no online announcement made initially.

Google has acknowledged the potential challenges this decision may present but reiterated their commitment to providing tools to support businesses that use their products and services. The company emphasized the importance of remaining a helpful partner to businesses as they manage their operations.

Starting on July 15, customers will no longer be able to initiate new chat conversations with businesses on the platform. Existing chats will receive notifications about the upcoming deprecation. By July 31, chat messages will be disabled, and call history will be deleted. Despite these changes, customers will still be able to find and contact businesses through Google Search and Maps.

Google has advised businesses to download their chat and call histories before the features are permanently removed. They can use Google Takeout for this purpose. Additionally, businesses are encouraged to invite customers with ongoing chat conversations to switch to alternate chat channels like Meta’s business chats on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. This move could lead some users transitioning other operations to rival companies like Facebook or Instagram which could have wider negative implications for Google’s overall market share in search engines and social media platforms.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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