Companies engaging with their customers are now able to flip on an updated API to show their status as a verified business as well as a short profile while texting through Google Messages. Owners and representatives will also be able to chat with their customers through the Google Maps app.

For those unfamiliar with Verified SMS, it’s a feature in Google Messages where Google is able to check if bots texting you actually represent the companies they claim to stand for by checking the number against its business registry.

How a Verified Business appears to Google Messages users

With this new verification system in place, it seems that Google is also able to provide more assurance and push more information about verified businesses.

Verified Business messaging on Google Maps

Business Profile managers can turn on the ability to read and reply to messages starting today to engage directly with customers on Google Maps and, through a messaging partner, take advantage of the Business Messages API to enhance their presence on SMS with Google Messages users.

It might be easy to pooh-pooh Google shoehorning another messaging client into an app that arguably doesn’t need it, but the company defends itself by saying that since the coronavirus pandemic began, more direct enquiries have been made to business listings on both Search and Maps than ever before — the point being that it’s important to meet people at where they’re coming from.