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Shopify Gains Momentum With Deals with Facebook, Kit CRM

Things are looking up for e-commerce software company Shopify (SHOP) as it partners with Facebook (FB - Get Report) and acquires a company that allows business owners to run their operations via text message.

On Tuesday, Shopify announced that it had integrated with Facebook's Messenger platform, allowing its software to use Facebook Messenger to perform commerce tasks, including live customer reports and shipping updates. The Ontario-based company creates software for small- and medium-sized businesses to run an online commerce business.

And Wednesday morning, Shopify announced that it had acquired privately-held "virtual marketing assistant" company Kit CRM Inc. for an undisclosed amount. Kit users can direct Kit to perform marketing tasks, such as running targeted Facebook ads and communicating with shoppers, through SMS texts.

"Shopify is clearly leading the way at helping people sell things, and we've been doing the same thing by workforce," Kit founder Michael Perry said by phone. "Kit is like having the ultimate right-hand man."

Facebook has highlighted the use of "chatbots" such as Kit as a growth opportunity going forward...