Apple's new business chat app will challenge Facebook Messenger

Key Points
  • Apple is building a new chat app called Business Chat.
  • Apple will introduce it on Friday.
  • It will likely be targeted at enterprise firms who want to chat with customers.

Apple is building a special chat platform for businesses.

It's called Business Chat and recently appeared on Apple's developer website next to a short description of the product. Apple says it will discuss it in more detail during a developer session on Friday at 10 a.m. Pacific.

"Business Chat is a powerful new way for businesses to connect with customers directly from within Messages," Apple's developer site says. "Using Business Chat, your customers can get answers to questions, resolve issues and complete transactions on their iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Customers can find your business and start conversations from Safari, Maps, Spotlight and Siri."

This means the app isn't necessarily for enterprise chat rooms, like Slack, but rather more on a par with what Facebook enables — the ability for small companies to chat with customers using Facebook Messenger for Business. In that case, for example, customers can reach out to a business using Facebook Messenger to discuss support, product returns and more, instead of having to call.

Apple was not immediately available to comment.

Based on the screen shot above, it looks like Apple is also going to use Business Chat to interact with its own customers. We'll learn more on Friday.