Facebook Just Added New Features for Businesses The social network isn't just for reposting animal pictures and inspirational quote memes anymore.

By Carly Okyle

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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While LinkedIn has generally been seen as the professional social network of choice, Facebook has established itself as a critical professional tool, too. There are currently 50 million active business pages on the site, and in the past year, there have been twice as many messages sent to businesses via Facebook than the year before, according to the company.

Given this data, it's no surprise that the "Book is giving business owners new ways to improve their company pages and facilitate communication with customers.

Related: Periscope-Like Live Video Streaming Comes to Everyday Facebook Users

As of today, businesses can choose to display on their page how long it typically takes them to reply to customer messages. The response time can be set to "within minutes," "within an hour," "within hours" or "within a day." There's also an "away" messaging status to alert people that nobody is available to respond to messages at that time. When businesses do have time to respond to questions and comments, a tool under the new Activity tab allows administrators can see all messages in one place.

Another change involves the company's inbox, which has been redesigned to tell businesses more about their customers. For instance, a business can now see previous interactions with anyone who has messaged them and whatever information is shared publicly on that person's profile, such as the city they live in. Moreover, the company can make notes of relevant information, like current and past orders or any specific preferences the person has in regards to customer service or favorite shopping times. The changes also give administrators the ability to add tags that will categorize conversations. This will make them easier to find or respond to at a later time.

We'll have to wait and see if the new tools get a "thumbs up" from businesses and customers alike.

Related: 9 Things Baby Zuckerberg Should Know About Her Famous Parents

Carly Okyle

Assistant Editor, Contributed Content

Carly Okyle is an assistant editor for contributed content at Entrepreneur.com.

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