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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

Trump's assault on Chinese tech left loose ends galore

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's haphazard war on Chinese tech has left the Biden administration with a raft of unfinished business involving efforts to restrict Chinese firms and products in U.S. markets.

Why it matters: The Chinese and American tech industries are joined at the hip in many ways, and that interdependence has shaped decades of prosperity. But now security concerns and economic rivalries are wrenching them apart.

Biden's thin, short path

President Biden has a thin, short path to success in his first six to nine months, top advisers tell Axios. His success, or failure, will dictate whether he can hold off both Republican critics — and activist Democrats who want him to go bigger, faster.

The big picture: Biden has to get vaccinations moving and the stimulus bill pumping, so the economy will start rocking, advisers said. That’s why he loaded his White House with veteran loyalists focused almost exclusively on these two topics.

Most states aren't prioritizing prisons for COVID vaccines

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Most states have not made much of their incarcerated populations eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

The big picture: Jails and prisons have seen big outbreaks and a higher death rate than the general public, but with supplies still limited, most governors aren't putting prisoners at the top of the list for vaccines.