Matt Gibstein posted on Twitter screen shots of Google testing live chat functionality within the Google search results, where they show local business information in the knowledge graph local box.
The chat button displays in the business box and when initiated opens up a Google Hangouts/Google Chat window. The Chat button also displays the availability of someone from the company available to chat with customers.
Here is that picture, taken from TechCrunch:
I checked the Google My Business console for a way to activate this feature on businesses I personally manage, but I do not see the option as of yet. I assume that this is tied to “managers” of the business and that if a manager is active on Google Chat/Hangouts, it may show the “chat” button in the local box in the search results.
We are reaching out to Google for more details.
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