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Make Your Chatbots Comply With 2020 Facebook Messenger Policy

Facebook Messenger has changed its policy since 4th March 2020, causing you to adjust your chatbot flow to match with the new rule.

Facebook Messenger has a set of policies that govern businesses operating on the platform. The recently changed regulations aim to bring a reliable, effective connection between the author and customers. 

Following the rule is crucial. It prevents your chatbots from getting banned and your page being out of the game.

In this blog, we will share the new changes and ways to ensure your chatbot stays compliant with the 2020 Messenger policy.

Note: Please note that this is BotStar’s interpretation of the Facebook Messenger policy. If you are uncertain about your specific case, you should refer to the official Messenger Platform Policy Overview

1. Why did Facebook Messenger change the policy?

Facebook Messenger is changing its policy in an attempt to improve the user experience with the platform. With these policies, Facebook encourages you to:

  • Respond to the customers in a timely manner when they reach out
  • Share important updates that are personally relevant to the customers

2. What’s new?

24-hour window

24-hour window is the pillar of the new changes. Every time a user sends a message to your chatbot, a “24-hour messaging window” will be up and running. You can send everything, including promotional messages, to a user within the window. No constraints at all.

The 24-hour window refreshes each time a user sends a message to you, and the countdown starts with the last response. After 24 hours, if the user does not respond, the window cannot be restarted. It shuts.

This new regulation appears to be Facebook’s way of pushing businesses to make their chatbots more responsive. As stated in their announcement, Facebook wants businesses to respond to their users as soon as possible.

👉 But if I want to send a message after 24 hours? How about the message outside that window?

Facebook created 4 message tags to support certain cases.

Message tags

This enables businesses to send important and personally relevant 1:1 update outside the Standard Message Window. 

Facebook limited its message tags from 17 to only 4 types. The message sent after 24 hours needs to be tagged with one of the four tags, otherwise, it will not be sent to the users.

4 kinds of message tags are:

  • CONFIRMED_EVENT_UPDATE: To send the user the reminder or update of the event they have registered for (eg: RSVP’ed, purchased tickets). This may be used for upcoming events and events in progress.
  • POST_PURCHASE_UPDATE: To notify the user of an update on a recent purchase. For instance, confirmation of transactions (receipts, invoices) or notification of shipment status. 
  • ACCOUNT_UPDATE: To notify the user of a non-recurring change to their application or account. For example, a change in application status (credit card or job) or notification of suspicious activity.
  • HUMAN_AGENT: To respond to users’ inquiries. Human Agent supports issues that cannot be resolved within the standard messaging window (eg: business is closed for the weekend, issues take more than 24 hours to resolve…).

Messages can be sent within 7 days after a user message.

Note:

  • The Human Agent tag is still in Closed BETA.
  • When you send a message outside the 24-hour window to the customers via Facebook page, it will automatically tagged with the Human Agent tag. Facebook recognizes this behavior and marks it legal.
  • As the Human Agent tag is still in Closed BETA, live chat features in other platforms should be authorized by Facebook to use this message tag. Then you can send messages with the tag to your customers outside the 24-hour window.

For more use cases relating to different tags and how to send Message Tags in BotStar Inbox, read our docs here.

👉 One more question. What if I want to send a message outside a standard window, and the content does not belong to any of the mentioned tags?

The answer is: You have to pay for it

Facebook has the option for it called Sponsored Message.

Sponsored Message

Sponsored Message enables businesses to send any messages, including promotional, directly to the users who have an open conversation with your page in Messenger. 

This can be seen as a type of Facebook ad. You need to pay for it, and the message will be labeled “Sponsored” in the chat. 

BotStar suggestion: Use chatbot to send Sponsored Messages to reach out to wider audiences, increase engagement and lower labour cost.

Another way to send messages outside the 24-hour window is through One-Time Notification message.

One-Time Notification (OTN)

OTN message allows you to send a single message that does not belong to any of the 4 tags per user request outside the 24-hour window. You need to get permission from the users to send only one specific message, be it promotional or non-promotional. 

When a user engages with your OTN message, the 24-hour window will reopen. Then you have again 24 hours to send promotional messages.

To know more about how to apply OTN for Facebook Messenger using BotStar chatbot, click here.

3. So after knowing the new rule, what do I need to do?

  1. First, you need to go through your chatbot flow and check every message on it
  2. Make sure your chatbot obeys Facebook’s 24-hour rule.
  3. Make every message a precious way to connect with your customers. Don’t treat Messenger like Email. Email is for outreach, Messenger is for connection. 
  4. Send promotional messages to users who have engaged with your chatbot within 24 hours to increase the conversion rate.
  5. If the messages fall out of the 24-hour window, add tags to them. Note that the tag must be suitable to your content as mentioned above.  
  6. In case you have an important message that is worth sharing to the users, pay for Sponsored Message. 
  7. Use Chatbot to send Sponsored Message to increase your reach. Just make sure that your user list is nice and clean!
  8. If your budget is quite tight and you don’t want to pay for Sponsored Message, you can ask for users’ emails and phone numbers during the 24-hour window chat, then send your promotional content via email or SMS.
  9. One important thing you should take into account when building a bot is to make opting out easy to the users. Show that you respect their privacy by letting them decide if they want to keep receiving messages or stop. It’s a small step but impactful, since Facebook may ban your chatbot or page if the users delete, block or even report the messages when they can’t find the option to unsubscribe.

4. Wrapping up

Recently changed Facebook Messenger policy attempts to avoid spams. Understanding these new rules will help you plan out a better messaging plan and make it in line with what the users want, then increase your conversion rate.

New Messenger regulations also open chances to marketers, encourage them to be more creative and flexible in writing chatbot scripts to create engaging conversations.

We hope this blog gives you more insight into the updated Messenger rules and ways to make your chatbot comply with these changes.

For chatbot-related tips, join our BotStar community.

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Jess P

Jess.P is a Content Creator at BotStar who is excited by creating read and watch content as much as she enjoys consuming it. In her spare-time, she can be found with a camera and notebook ready to document her surroundings.