Google Testing New Direct Messaging Feature in Search Results
In a very interesting development, Google has invited a small number of business owners to test a new feature. This new feature allows Google search users to directly message a business from its Google search result page (more specifically, from Google Knowledge Graph.
At the moment, there isn’t much information available for this feature. Even the help guide provided by Google doesn’t offer much to readers. However, fortunately, we can see the feature in action.
Here is a screenshot of a business result that allows users to directly send a message to that business.
As you can see, along with the other business information, now users also have an option to send a message.
Users will actually have two different options to send the message:
- They can either use the traditional SMS service from their cell phones, or
- They can use Google Allo.
It seems like an excellent step towards a more user-friendly experience, but it also adds more burden to business owners to be more proactive in the digital space.
At the moment, there are at least 2 things that business owners should take note of:
- Even if you get an invitation by Google to join this feature, you should be careful before jumping into it. If you are incapable of responding to users quickly via the messaging service, it may hurt your business.
- Moreover, Google has also warned that if a business’s response rate becomes too long, it may even remove that business and move on to a more responsive business.
In short, you shouldn’t start with this feature if you are not 100% ready to actively communicate with your customers on a regular basis.
Having said that, this does look like a great feature by Google. By the way, Bing has also announced its own messaging feature, which seems way cooler, getting a much wider rollout, and have many more features, e.g., SMS, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp.
We are pretty sure that Google will also catch up, but let’s see how it gets there.