Facebook acquires New York-based customer service software maker

The deal will bolster its messaging business, which is expanding to include customer service products

A woman checks the Facebook Inc. site on her smartphone whilst standing against an illuminated wall bearing the Facebook Inc. logo in this arranged photograph in London, U.K., on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015. Facebook Inc.s WhatsApp messaging service, with more than 100 million local users, is the most-used app in Brazil, according to an Ibope poll published on Dec. 15. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Facebook has acquired Kustomer, a New York-based software company that helps businesses manage customer conversations from multiple services on one dashboard.

The social media giant made the deal to bolster its nascent messaging business, which is expanding to include customer-service products that help companies interact with people via chat apps, like WhatsApp and Messenger.

“Any business knows that when the phone rings, they need to answer it. Increasingly, texts and messages have become just as important as that phone call — and businesses need to adapt,” Facebook executives wrote in a blog post. Kustomer also offers automated tools so companies can handle easier customer requests using bots.

Facebook didn’t disclose terms of the acquisition, but the Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the deal could value privately held Kustomer at more than $1 billion. Facebook said the deal will close pending regulatory approval.

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