Facebook Messenger is making major changes to improve the user experience and limit the number of unsolicited messages (spam). The objective is to encourage chatbot publishers to deliver more relevant and personalized messages to their users, customers and prospects.

This does not change much, if not nothing, for most publishers using Botnation because the platform has always imposed the subscription of notifications to chatbot users by an "opt-in" action, thus avoiding the non-understanding of users upon receipt of a notification. However for some publishers who disseminate more general information than personalized follow-up, it is important to understand and adapt to this new Facebook policy.

For memory....

First of all we remind you of these few rules of "good practices" that we regularly distribute in meetings, point with our customers, conferences, webinars etc ...

  • You must always clearly inform the user that you want to send them notifications by an "opt-in" action. He must consider that he offers you his consent in exchange for a personalized service.

  • Then use the maximum use of variables to best customize notifications. Thus on Botnation a 30 year old woman with a cat can very easily receive a message completely different from that of a 40 year old man with a dog since this information collected during the discussion with the chatbot is clearly saved in variables dynamically reusable.

  • Facebook measures above all the return rate in Messenger, it is therefore essential to have in each notification a "call to action" (button) which launches a sequence in your Messenger chatbot but especially not a link to an external website which does not generates no user interaction in your chatbot. This return to Messenger will also extend a new 24 hour window which will be essential for automatic reminders. Understand that Facebook offers this tool to promote the use of Messenger and not to animate an external website. Nothing prevents you from offering a link to content or a product sheet in the second step, on the following sequence the call to action.

  • A discussion immediately closed by the user upon receipt of a notification is a very negative point ... Just like an email immediately placed in the trash as soon as it is received at Gmail or Hotmail. So think about the message: personalization, timing, usefulness of its reception, etc.

Here's what changes, or not, as of March 4, 2020.

  • Messenger keeps a standard messaging window for 24 hours after the last user interaction. This means that you will still be able to follow up with your users by sending them messages and follow up with them during that 24 hour period via notification or the automatic follow-up tool.

    Botnation encourages you to use the automatic recovery tool to the fullest. It is the simplest solution for sending effective and perfectly targeted notifications and ensuring your user returns to active conversation. One click is enough on the interface to install a smart stimulus in each of the essential steps of your chatbot.

    Tip: Make sure you get the most out of the 24 hour rule. For example, set up an automatic restart 23 hours later. So if the user used your chatbot at 1 p.m. on a Monday, he will receive it the next day, Tuesday at noon and will certainly be reactive, re-opening the session for an additional 24 hours.

  • Subscription messaging, notification shipping beyond 24 hours after the last interaction, becomes obsolete. On March 4, 2020, permission to subscribe to messaging will only be available for news (media) pages, which must request it from Facebook. It will be frowned upon, including retroactively, for other types of businesses. You can find out more at Facebook by following this link.

  • 3 message tags are now a way to reach users after the 24 hour window is over. Each message label is designed to support specific use cases defined by Facebook policy:

    1 - Event reminders: CONFIRMED_EVENT_UPDATE

    Use case: Send reminders or updates to the user for an event to which they have registered (confirmation of registration to an event, tickets purchased). This tag can be used for upcoming events and current events.

    Examples of authorized cases: Reminder of courses, meetings or upcoming events that the user has scheduled. Confirmation of the user's reservation or participation in an accepted event or appointment
    Notification of the user's planned transport or trip, such as arrival, cancellation, delayed baggage or any other change in status.

    2 - Post-purchase updates: POST_PURCHASE_UPDATE

    Use case: Notify the user of an update on a recent purchase.

    Examples of authorized uses: Confirmation of the transaction, such as invoices or receipts Shipping status notifications, such as products in transit, shipped, delivered or delayed. Changes related to an order placed by the user, a refused credit card, out of stock items or other order updates that require user intervention.

    3 - Account updates: ACCOUNT_UPDATE

    Use case: Notify the user of a non-recurring change to their application or account.

    Examples of authorized uses: A change in the status of the request.
    Notification of suspicious activity, such as fraud alerts

Any form of promotional content, including, but not limited to, will be refused on all of these 3 tags:

  • Cross-selling, offers, promotions, coupons and discounts.

  • Recurring Content (new offers available ...).

  • Invitations to participate in surveys or studies.

  • Content related to an event to which the user has not registered or for other events.

  • Messages relating to past events

Botnation offers you to add these 3 new tags directly in the notifications and reminders interface, simply and easily.

Apart from these identifications (tags) subscription messaging will only be available for the media which correctly record their Pages in the News Pages Index (press).

This new Facebook policy will come into effect on March 4, 2020. From this date if you wish to broadcast targeted promotional (advertising) messages - not falling within the framework of the cases indicated above - by notification beyond 24h without user interaction we suggest you go to Facebook sponsored messages. It is a paid solution but you can send your messages freely without these editorial constraints.

Do not hesitate to come back to us if necessary, and once again remember to make the most of automatic reminders in a 24-hour window which do not undergo any constraint or change.

We will keep this document up to date in the coming months based on any new developments or modifications.

December 23, 2019 update:

Facebook has just announced that these policy changes will now take effect on March 4, 2020 instead of January 15, 2020. Indeed, a new "single notification" API is now scheduled for February. Additional time is therefore added to give developers time to implement the new API before the new policies take effect.

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