Facebook is making it easier to run a business online

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Businesses will soon be able to manage their Facebook and Instagram accounts through a single platform thanks to a new release from the company.

Facebook Business Suite looks to helps SMBs adapting to a new way of doing business in the global lockdown, offering a singular interface where they can manage their profiles and pages across both sites.

Businesses using the service, which works across mobile and desktop, will be able to post to Facebook and Instagram at the same time, view all notifications and alerts in one place, and monitor analytics and insight information on posts across both sites.

Facebook Business Suite

Users will also be able to manage and receive messages through the company's messaging platforms WhatsApp and Messenger, keeping them in direct contact with customers.

Facebook Business Suite is available for small businesses globally now, before expanding to larger businesses next year. Customers will be able to download the iOS or Android app now, and desktop customers will be automatically redirected when logging in to their Facebook accounts.

"With fewer customers walking into stores and restaurants during the pandemic, small businesses have had to find new ways to sell and reach customers online. Facebook’s free tools and personalized ads are a lifeline for many small businesses making this transition," Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook Chief Operating Officer, wrote in a blog post announcing the news.

"We’re building Facebook Business Suite for small businesses first, but this is a long-term investment to make this the main interface for businesses of all sizes who use Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp."

Facebook also carried out recent research into the effects that the lockdown is having on small businesses around the world. Its latest Global State of Small Business Report, produced alongside the World Bank and OECD, found that small businesses making more than 25% of their sales online are more likely to report higher sales than this time last year and less likely to have reduced their number of employees.

"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," said Sandberg.

The company recently unveiled Facebook Shop, which will allow online shoppers to find new businesses and peruse products via the Facebook app. Meanwhile, Facebook-owned Instagram will be opening up new Checkout and Live Shopping features to sellers in the US.

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.