Google Shuts Down Business Messages: What does it Means for Your Business?

Google Business Profile Chat Feature Is Shutting Down

On 28 May 2024, Google announced that it was permanently closing the Message feature in business listings. This means that customers will no longer be able to send messages to businesses directly via their Google listings, from the search page or Google Maps.

This will take place in two stages:

  • 15 July 2024 (last day for new conversations): This is the last day users will be able to initiate new conversations with businesses using this feature. Existing conversations will continue to function until the complete closure. The ‘chat’ button will no longer be visible on Google Maps listings from this date.
picto ampoule

Our advice

Companies should take this opportunity to inform users of ongoing conversations about the forthcoming change, and redirect them to another method of communication.

Companies should take this opportunity to inform users of ongoing conversations about the forthcoming change, and redirect them to another method of communication.

  • 31 July 2024 (complete closure): On this date, the Messages feature will be completely removed from Google business listings. Businesses will no longer be able to access the chat history or reply to new messages. 

Google recommends that businesses download all important previous conversations before 31 July. An email has been sent by Google to the owner of business listings to inform them of this change and to easily access the conversation downloads. 

email-google-business-messages-end
pictogramme attention

Important!

Customers will still be able to find and contact your business by phone or via your website from Google Search and Google Maps.

The description of your business, your posts, your photos, and all the information you share on your business listing will also remain unchanged.

Customers will still be able to find and contact your business by phone or via your website from Google Search and Google Maps.

The description of your business, your posts, your photos, and all the information you share on your business listing will also remain unchanged.

If you wish to learn how to adapt your conversational strategy, don’t miss the end of the article.

What Are Google Business Messages?

The feature Messages in Google listings, commonly known as Google Business Messages, was launched in 2017 and it allows customers to send messages directly to businesses through their business listings on Google Search and Google Maps. 

It provides a convenient way for customers to ask questions, make appointments, or obtain basic information without having to call the business. Another advantage is that the business’s phone number remains confidential for those who prefer not to share it, while still creating a direct channel of communication.

On its website, Google explained the benefits of the Messages feature by stating that ‘communication methods have changed: 75% of consumers now prefer to interact with a brand through private messaging channels over traditional channels’.

Google’s decision to close Business Messages

Google has not explicitly given the reason for discontinuing Business Messages, but the web giant often makes such changes to streamline the development of its products.

It is possible that Google observed a low usage rate of the Message feature compared to other communication methods. However, Google may also wish to focus its efforts on a different communication solution for businesses.

In recent months, Google has shown a particular inclination to integrate other platforms into its search engine (TikTok, LinkedIn) in its business listings through the integration of new review platforms and the addition of links to social networks.

At Partoo, we believe that the end of Business Messages could indicate that Google is working on integrating other messaging platforms into its listings, such as WhatsApp Business, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram Direct Messages. This is already the case with the Partoo app, which centralises messages from all these platforms.

This evolution could be accompanied by the integration of Facebook and Instagram posts in addition to Google Posts, increasing the ability of businesses to interact with their customers.

How Can You Adapt Your Company’s Conversational Strategy? 

Although Google is ending its Business Messages service on 31 July, it is certainly not the end of conversational commerce for businesses. This only highlights the importance of diversifying communication channels, whether that means using other messaging tools or leveraging traffic from your company’s website.

Diversification of Messaging Platforms

Relying on a single channel is risky, as it may disappear or change, as is the case here. It is essential for businesses to be present on multiple platforms and popular channels in order to remain accessible wherever their customers and prospects are located.

Several Partoo clients have already activated multiple messaging channels, for instance, Guinot Mary Cohr, for whom Google messages accounted for only 5% of their conversational traffic, versus 95% for other channels, notably Instagram and Facebook.

guinot mary cohr facebook


Messages

Centralise your messages

Partoo’s product Messages allows you to centralise several popular messaging platforms such as Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger or text messages.

Partoo’s product Messages allows you to centralise several popular messaging platforms such as Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger or text messages.

Webchat on Your Website

Webchat is also emerging as an alternative for businesses wanting to maintain a direct communication channel with their clients. It enables real-time assistance, answers to questions, and even facilitates direct sales from the website. Among Partoo’s clients, this is a very strong trend: we have observed that the proportion of messages coming from the website has been increasing for several months, and that said messages are of higher quality.

Integrating a chat on the website makes it an accessible tool for users. Moreover, advanced features such as document sharing, audio/video options, or screen cobrowsing enrich the interactions.

With its detailed statistics, webchat is an excellent way to measure and optimise customer engagement. To compensate for the loss of Business Messages, many companies will likely adopt this turnkey solution to stay reachable and offer quality conversational service.

Partoo’s Perspective 

The end of Google Business Messages should not be seen as a setback. If our assumption that Google listings will open up to other messaging platforms in the coming months is confirmed, it will be all the more important for businesses to diversify their conversational channels to remain accessible on all fronts. This is a significant challenge for many points of sale.

Partoo supports businesses in their conversational strategy with products that centralise and simplify interactions with their customers. Jim, our AI Agent, can automate up to 70% of business conversations, allowing for significant time savings and increased efficiency. This is a way to start diversifying communication channels with the right support.

Do you have any questions about the end of Google Business Messages? Need support in diversifying your messaging channels? Our Partoo experts are here to help you!

Was this article helpful?
Yes, thanks!Not really...
beatriz-sierra-sanchez

By Beatriz Sierra Sanchez

Translation Project Manager

Beatriz has a degree in Translation and Interpreting and manages the translation department at Partoo. She ensures that all content is not only well translated but also adapted to each country.
Beatriz has a degree in Translation and Interpreting and manages the translation department at Partoo. She ensures that all content is not only well translated but also adapted to each country.

You are one click away from success

Want to easily develop your business through the Internet? It’s possible thanks to Partoo!

Contact us

Learn from the best!

Download our 2024 barometer and discover which companies manage their online reputation the best, along with recommendations to enhance your business!

Get the barometer

Continue reading ...

whatsapp available on google business profile
5 June 2024

Exclusive: WhatsApp Available as a Contact Method on Google Business Profiles

Google didn’t wait for the definitive shutdown of the Messages feature on its business profiles…

4 June 2024

2024 Study: The Impact of Digital Platforms on Consumers’ Behaviour

For the third consecutive year, Partoo unveils its study on the influence of online reviews…

31 May 2024

Partoo Ranked Top 10 ORM Software by Tekpon

Partoo, the all-in-one platform for local marketing solutions, is proud to announce that it has…

Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive our best articles and practical guides directly in your inbox every month