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Facebook announces new changes as business pages hit 50M

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Facebook has made changes aimed to improve experience and interaction with business pages. Among the tweaks the social media platform has added include a redesigned inbox that gives more context on customers and allowing page owners the ability to set the time it takes to reply to messages. This can be set either ‘within minutes,’ ‘within an hour,’ or ‘within a day’.

Facebook also announced over 50 million businesses are now using Facebook Pages to connect with their customers all over the world, generating 2.5 billion comments every month. In Kenya, 63 percent of people on Facebook are connected to a Small and Medium sized business.

“The number one challenge for small and medium businesses is reaching customers. Facebook Pages are the mobile solution for millions of businesses around the world because they make it easy for business owners to reach new customers and communicate with current ones where they are – on mobile,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook.

The new features come two weeks after Facebook announced they are testing live video sharing in the US on iPhones. Live enables users to show friends what they are seeing in real time.

Additional features for page admins will allow businesses to set ‘Away Messages’ and ‘Instant Replies.’ Away Messages are replies to messages sent automatically when a Page is set to away and can be used to inform people about when to expect a response or where to find other information. Instant Replies are messages sent automatically to people who message the Page for the first time.

“People can contact businesses anytime and from any device, so we’re offering new tools for Pages to better manage their customer interactions. Now it’s easier than ever for Pages to address both the public comments and private messages that people send them, in order to build and maintain strong relationships and grow their business,” said Michael Sharon, Product Manager, Facebok Pages.

All of the new Page communications features are starting to roll out globally now and will be available to every Page in the coming months.

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