Facebook added a new feature that allows businesses to communicate privately with their customers, which is a part of the company’s effort to build its Messenger app as a standalone platform, according to Reuters.

Facebook Adds Feature Allowing Businesses To Privately Message Clients

The social network giant provided businesses the ability to integrate the “send message” button in their advertisements that are showing on Newsfeeds. Users who would leave a comment on the Facebook page of a business could send a private message using the button.

Facebook users still have the option to block private messages from businesses.

Facebook is trying to attract more small and medium-sized business in emerging markets such as Brazil, India, and Indonesia to place an advertisement on its platform. The social network giant is giving businesses the opportunity to communicate directly with consumers to show that advertisements on Facebook could help them increase sales.

Facebook to award “very responsive to messages” badge

Facebook will award businesses with a “very responsive to messages” bad to encourage them to respond quickly to consumers’ comments or inquiries. Businesses that would respond to 90% of the messages with an average respond time of five minutes will be getting the badge on their Facebook page.

According to the social network giant, the new feature is valuable for businesses in Southeast Asia particularly in Singapore and Thailand because the users in these countries use Facebook messages to communicate with them. A majority of users in the region follow some business pages on Facebook.

The social network giant is hosting 40 million active small and medium businesses with Facebook pages on its platform with over a billion vistiors every month.

Facebook Mentions

Separately, Facebook announced a new way for users to connect and interact with their favor public figures using live videos on its platform.

According to the company, public figures will now be able to share live videos through the app called Facebook Mentions.

“Live is an immersive and authentic way to connect with the public figures you care about, in real-time. If you don’t catch the live broadcast, you can also watch the video later on the public figure’s Page,” according to Facebook.