San Francisco, September 18: In a bid to help small and medium businesses (SMBs), social networking giant Facebook has launched Facebook Business Suite, an app for managing business accounts across Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. This newly rolled out Suite is a new interface which aims to help businesses save time and stay up to date by managing their Pages or profiles across its family of apps. The suite allows them to post to Facebook and Instagram at the same time, and manage and receive messages, notifications and alerts in one place.

Facebook said it has announced a Business Suite for small businesses first, adding that it is a long-term investment to make this the main interface for businesses of all sizes who use Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. The firm added saying that the new facility  is available for small businesses globally starting today, i.e. September 17, and will expand to larger businesses next year.

Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook, in a blog post on Thursday said people can also easily see what's working and learn what's resonating with customers with Facebook and Instagram insights. "The last few months have been tough for small businesses everywhere, and while there are reasons to be optimistic there is still much uncertainty ahead. But whatever happens, Facebook will continue to do all we can to help them adapt, survive and thrive online," Sandberg said.

Facebook had recently conducted a study on the impact of COVID-19 on consumers' purchasing patterns and their use of digital tools to search for and interact with businesses The study revealed that half of those surveyed said they had spent more money online overall since the outbreak, and 40 percent have increased their use of social media and online messaging for product and business recommendations.

The survey also found encouraging support for local businesses. In the survey, of those who said they had started shopping at new businesses, nearly three-quarters said that at least one was a small business. Nearly 31 percent also said they will increase their spending with small local businesses once the pandemic is over.