We would like to warn you about changes made by Facebook impacting their Messenger API and therefore the possible behavior of your chatbot on this channel.
First of all: If you are only the editor of a Web-Bot made on Botnation, on your website or mobile outside of Facebook, you are not at all affected by this message.
What's going on with Facebook?
In order to comply with the new privacy protection rules in Europe, Facebook will make updates that will have an impact on several features of Facebook Messenger Web and very slightly on the Messenger mobile application (iOS and Android).
Who is impacted?
Any company that publishes a chatbot associated with a Facebook page or a user of this chatbot located in enlarged Europe (30 countries in the economic area), including the United Kingdom, from December 16, 2020.
But what if I am not using Botnation but another chatbot platform?
This problem is on the Facebook side and impacts all platforms connected to Facebook as of December 16, 2020, not just Botnation.
For how long ?
Facebook does not communicate duration. We are of course in contact with the Facebook team that is handling this issue. Facebook's legal and technical teams are doing everything they can to find solutions as quickly as possible and restore optimal service. In practice, it is to be expected that this will last several weeks and that the functionalities will be reinstated little by little with some adjustments.
The situation has already evolved positively in recent days by greatly reducing the impact on mobile users.
What to do with my chatbot ?
If your users are mainly on mobile (Messenger application on smartphones & tablets) like more than 80% of Facebook Messenger users:
- Everything is almost fine, you hardly have to change anything.
- The persistent menu will no longer be displayed.
- Personas (chatbot avatar change) will no longer be supported
If your users are primarily on the web through a browser:
What does not change:
- Text only, images only and quick replies will work normally.
- The M.ME links to your chatbot, the start button, and private replies (to comments) will also work.
- Echo mode (text and image) and Handover will also work for in-app interactions.
What changes as of December 16, 2020:
- The "classic" buttons will no longer be displayed
- Buttons with web links or generating phone calls will no longer be displayed
- Carousels (image + description or only description) will no longer be displayed.
- Media other than images (videos, audio, files) can no longer be exchanged.
- The persistent menu will no longer be displayed.
- Personas (chatbot avatar change) are no longer supported
This list may change, please also consult its official version on the Facebook site: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/messenger-platform/europe-updates
It may sound very worrying BUT Botnation has a solution for you a little lower.
How do I know if users are on the Web or the Mobile app?
Unfortunately, Facebook does not share the information to date.
So what should I change on my Facebook chatbot for the web?
You have two options: modify your Messenger chatbot to work with the new restrictions or migrate to a Botnation web chatbot.
To make it work on Messenger with the new restrictions:
- Given the impact listed above, we recommend providing an alternative experience to carousels using images alone then text, then quick responses as a replacement for buttons.
- Enter text URLs instead of web buttons.
Or to go faster, transfer your Facebook Messenger chatbot to a Web Botnation Chatbot:
- It will open over Facebook Messenger as if by magic after clicking on a web button (mobile) or url link (web).
- a free tool is already available for this on our platform
- The content of the chatbot remains the same except for some very slight tweaks
- Your users will find the conversational experience almost unchanged
- Graphic personalization: the design of a Web-Bots is not subject to the restrictions of Facebook Messenger, so you can make it graphically consistent with your brand
- The chatbot can be launched from Facebook Messenger. It is therefore transparent to the user.
- No additional cost and we host your Web-Bot on ChatbotNation.com, it's included in all plans!
In order to guarantee an unchanged experience for all of your users, our recommendation is to make the migration!
It is the simplest and least exotic solution for your users.
The Botnation Web-Bot is a technology developed in France by the Botnation team. This solution has been evolving every month for several years, it can even completely replace a website by opening in full screen!
You will be charged nothing more, this technology is already included in your Botnation plan! Contact us through the chat module on the Botnation interface if you need any help, we are preparing a guide on this topic.
In all cases :
Remember that this doesn't impact 80% of your users who are definitely on the mobile versions of Facebook Messenger.
Think about testing on mobile too and not just on the web version. When Botnation opens the test page to you on the web, they are also sent to you on Messenger Mobile.
Before any modification, duplicate your chatbot to have a backup. So as soon as everything will return to normal, you just have to re-activate your chatbot in 1 click!
Make your changes only your duplicate chatbot. On Botnation you can duplicate your chatbot as many times as you want to have several versions, this is not billed.
Do not hesitate to contact us, we are here to assist you!
We recommend that you possibly forward this message to other collaborators if you are not the only person in charge of the chatbot.
The Botnation team.
(last update: December 7, 2020)