Twitter is one of the fastest ways to shame businesses into responding to your complaints. So it makes sense the social network would roll out new tools to improve two-way conversations with companies who want to use Twitter for online customer service. Starting today, businesses and brands on Twitter can attach a "send a private message" link to their tweets so customers can jump right into a Direct Message thread with a representative. The other initiative, called Customer Feedback, will be available in the coming weeks and it will let companies collect opinions from Twitter users after customer service conversations take place.
Beyond advertisements, creating a communications platform for businesses to reach consumers directly is another way for a social network to make money. Facebook has long expressed interest in turning its Facebook Messenger app into a customer service platform, and the company is reportedly helping third parties build their own Messenger bots similar to its automated M assistant. The Facebook-owned chat service WhatsApp, which just passed 1 billion monthly active users, is also trying "to connect more people around the world and make it easier to communicate with businesses," according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. So Twitter clearly has some stiff competition if it wants to become the go-to customer service platform on the web.