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Twitter is adding a new feature that will allow businesses to attach buttons (powered by bots) to conversations within its Direct Messages platform. The buttons will prompt actions depending on conversations.

It's Twitter's shot at trying to help businesses deliver better customer service through the platform, like letting people buy movie tickets, take quizzes, play games, or navigate to a web page where you can buy a product. The bot-driven conversations can help users perform new automated tasks, like visit a website, follow new accounts, or start conversations with other related accounts.

Why it matters: Bots open up ways for businesses to better engage customers. For Twitter, and other data-driven platforms, using audience data to target ads to drive sales is just one way businesses can leverage the platform. In adding this option, on top of other Direct Message additions added recently, Twitter is hoping to become a prime destination for brands to connect with consumers.

One caveat: Buttons have to be added through the platform's developer API, so implementation for small and medium-sized businesses without developer resources may not be seamless at the start.

For businesses that want to use the new feature: You can customize the text on buttons to include emojis, and up to three buttons can be attached to any message. Massages can be used to open any URL, including links to other features in the Twitter app.

Go deeper

17 seconds ago - Technology

Jack Dorsey to step down as Twitter CEO

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Jack Dorsey will step down as CEO of Twitter, the company announced Monday. He will be succeeded by CTO Parag Agrawal.

The big picture: Dorsey is also the CEO of financial payments company Square, which he co-founded in 2009, and has become a crypto evangelist in recent years.

Tracking the pandemic's unequal impact

Expand chart
Data: Morning Consult/Axios; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The pandemic was bound to hit the most economically vulnerable among us the hardest. New polling data from Morning Consult, out this morning, shows the degree to which those difficulties were more concentrated among people of color.

Catch up quick: The Morning Consult/Axios Inequality Index has tracked the economic experience of adults in three wage groups since May 2020. We began publishing the findings in May of this year, and six months in, we’re slicing the data a little differently — and looking at inequality between ethnicities.

2 hours ago - Health

WHO says Omicron poses "very high" risk

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaking in Geneva in October. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

The World Health Organization said Monday in a new risk assessment that it believes the COVID-19 Omicron variant poses a "very high" risk to the globe because it may be more transmissible than other strains of the virus.

Why it matters: Though the WHO acknowledged there are still many uncertainties associated with the variant, the agency said it believes the likelihood of potential further spread of Omicron around the world is "high."