It seems that Twitter wants to be better than Facebook once again when it comes to becoming brands’ favored social platform for customer service.

Businesses’ Twitter profiles are now able to display the hours that a company is available to respond to people’s tweets.  As an example, they might say “24/7” or “4am to 11pm” There is also a button that allows users to click to sent that brand a direct message.  Facebook rolled out similar features for Pages last year.

With Facebook, Pages define how quick they are to respond, which is unlike what Twitter is doing, such as “within minutes” or “within a day,” and supplements that page-provided information with its own “very responsive” badge for Pages that are able to response to 90% of messages within a 5 minute time period of receiving them. As of this time, Twitter isn’t offering this sort of badge that can validate a brand accounts availability, or have a way to make sure that businesses will adhere to their defined availability hours.

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Twitter is, instead, adding something new to the mix.  If people do a search for Twitter accounts, mention a brand’s account in a tweet, or even look through the list of direct message threads, they’ll see “Provides support” detail attached to a brand’s account name.  It looks similar to the “Following” tag that appears next to a person’s account details.  If you want to append this customer-support flag to their account names, brands are going to have to opt in through Twitter’s Dashboard tool.  This is what they’ll also be using to set their hours availability.

If you’re a business, you’ll be able to access these new features beginning today, but only if they enable anyone to send them a direct message.  this will be able to be set in Dashboard.

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