Twitter today is rolling out a new feature that will allow businesses to prompt their followers to take an action beyond a simple fav or retweet. The company is introducing the ability for businesses to add buttons inside their direct message conversations designed to encourage customers to do things like tweet about the company’s Twitter bot, visit their website, follow the business’s Twitter account, or start a chat with another account the business runs, among other things.
The feature is now one of several enhancements Twitter has made to its Direct Messaging experience in recent months. In May, for example, Twitter announced a way for businesses to run ads that were designed to bring users inside a Direct Messaging experience, where they could then interact with the business’s chatbot.
Twitter has also rolled out a bevy of features for Direct Messages, like welcome messages, quick replies, custom profiles, location sharing, and more – a suite of features seemingly intended to challenge Facebook Messenger and its own platform for business chatbots.
While Facebook chatbots often had you clicking on items to navigate through their interactive experiences, Twitter’s new buttons are much more basic. They are simply appended to a message a company sends to a customer – meaning those that are messaged by own of the business’s bots.
For example, Focus Features has implemented the new feature with its bot that tweets movie trailers. Now, Twitter users can click on buttons to buy movie tickets, join the company’s rewards program, or get connected to a human in order to get customer service questions answers. For the release of the movie “The Beguiled,” the bot is also inviting users to play a trivia game then share their score on Twitter.
Twitter says that the buttons can be configured for a number of purposes that take place outside the Direct Message conversations, like composing a tweet, following an account, or opening a website within the Twitter app.
At launch, businesses can add up to three buttons to their messages, and can customize the call-to-action text (or emoji) on these buttons, as well.
The feature can be combined with the recently launched Direct Message Cards, too, which encourage users to enter the brand’s DMs to start chatbot-powered conversations.
Twitter says these new buttons are rolling out starting today on iOS, Android, and desktop web. Businesses can access the new feature via Twitter’s developer API.