New Rules for Sending Facebook Messenger Push Notifications

As of March 4, 2020, Facebook Messenger updates its platform

Facebook Messenger makes important 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 doesn’t change much, if anything, for most publishers using Botnation because the platform has always imposed the subscription of notifications to chatbot users through an “opt-in” action, thus avoiding the non-comprehension of users when receiving a notification. However, for some publishers who provide more general information than personalized follow-up, it is important to understand and adapt to this new Facebook policy

For the record….

First of all, we remind you of these rules of “good practices” that we regularly disseminate during meetings, meetings with our customers, conferences, webinars etc…

  • You should always clearly inform the user that you want to send them notifications with an opt-in action. They should consider that they are offering you their consent in exchange for a personalized service.
  • Then use variables to the maximum in order to customize the notifications. Thus on Botnation a 30 year old woman with a cat can very easily receive a totally different message than a 40 year old man with a dog, since this information collected during the chat with the chatbot is clearly saved in dynamically re-usable variables.
  • Facebook measures above all the return rate in Messenger, so it is essential to have in each notification a “call to action” (button) that launches a sequence in your Messenger chatbot but especially not a link to an external website that does not generate any user interaction in your chatbot. This return to Messenger will also extend a new 24-hour window that will be essential for automatic reminders. Understand that Facebook offers you this tool to promote the use of Messenger and not to animate an external website. Nothing prevents you from proposing a link to a content or product sheet in the second step, on the sequence following the call to action.
  • A discussion immediately closed by the user upon receiving a notification is a very negative point… Just like an email that is immediately placed in the trash when received at Gmail or Hotmail. So think carefully about the message: personalization, timing, usefulness of its reception etc…

Here’s what’s changing, or not, as of March 4, 2020.

  • Messenger maintains a standard messaging window at 24 hours after the last user interaction. This means that you will always be able to follow up with your users by sending them messages and follow up with them during that 24 hour period through a notification or the automatic follow up tool as some pages do.

    Botnation encourages you to use the automatic follow-up tool to the maximum. It’s the easiest way to send effective and perfectly targeted notifications and ensure that your user is back in the active conversation. One click on the interface is all it takes to install an intelligent reminder in each of the essential steps of your chatbot.

    Tip : Be sure to make the most of the 24-hour rule. For example, set up an automatic retry 23 hours later. So if the user was using your chatbot at 1pm on a Monday, he will receive it the next day, on Tuesday at noon and will certainly be reactive, reopening the session for another 24 hours.
  • Subscription messaging, sending notifications more than 24 hours after the last interaction, is becoming obsolete. On March 4, 2020, permission to subscribe to messaging will only be available to News (Media) Pages, which must request it from Facebook. It will be disapproved, including retroactively, for other types of businesses. You can learn more at Facebook by following this link.
  • 3 message tags are now a way to reach users once the 24-hour window is over. Each message tag is designed to support specific use cases defined by Facebook policy:

    Event reminders : CONFIRMED_EVENT_UPDATE

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

    Examples of allowed cases: Reminder of upcoming classes, appointments or events that the user has scheduled. Confirmation of the user’s reservation or participation in an event or an accepted appointment
    Notification of the user’s planned transportation or trip, such as arrival, cancellation, baggage delay, or any other change in status.

    Post-purchase updates: POST_PURCHASE_UPDATE

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

    Examples of permitted uses: Transaction confirmation, such as invoices or receipts Shipping status notifications, such as products in transit, shipped, delivered or delayed. Changes related to a user placed order, declined credit card, out of stock items or other order updates that require user intervention.

    Updates to the account : ACCOUNT_UPDATE

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

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

    Will be denied on all of these 3 tags any form of promotional content, including but not limited to:
  • Cross-selling, offers, promotions, coupons and discounts.
  • Recurring content (new offers available…).
  • Invitations to participate in surveys or studies.
  • Content related to an event for which the user has not registered or for other events.
  • Messages related to past events

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

Apart from these tags, subscription messaging will only be available to media that properly register their Pages in the News (Press) Page Index. You can register your news page on this Facebook interface.

This new Facebook policy will be effective as of March 4, 2020. From this date on, if you wish to broadcast targeted promotional (advertising) messages – not falling within the scope of the cases indicated above – by notification beyond 24 hours without user interaction, we suggest that you switch to Facebook sponsored messages . It is a paying solution but you will be able to send your messages freely without these editorial constraints.

Do not hesitate to come back to us if needed, and once again think of using the automatic reminders within a 24 hour window which are not subject to any constraints or changes.

We will keep this document updated in the coming months according to any new developments or changes.

Update 23 Dec 2019:

Facebook has just announced that these policy changes will now go into effect on March 4, 2020 instead of January 15, 2020. Indeed a new “single notification” API is now planned for February. An additional delay is therefore added to give developers time to implement the new API before the new policies take effect.

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