How to comply with Facebook Messenger policy in 2020

By Joren Wouters Updated on

How to comply with Facebook Messenger policy in 2020

Recently, Facebook has changed their policy regarding Facebook Messenger, causing you to change your chatbot flows in order to comply with the new regulations.

These new regulations are made to enhance the user experience of Facebook users and allows you to think twice about the user experience you are delivering.

In this post I will talk about these new changes and gives you a hands-on cheatsheet so you can comply with the new regulations!

Why is Facebook changing its policy?

Facebook is changing its policy because they want to improve the experience for Facebook users. Facebook says that the policies are designed to encourage businesses to:

  1. Respond to customers in a timely fashion when they reach out
  2. Share important updates that are personally relevant to their customers

The third reason, which Facebook did not mention explicitly, is that is not possible anymore to spam people through Facebook Messenger with your chatbot.

What is changing?

The new regulations change the way how you can send messages to people and relate only to promotional messages.

Promotional messages are messages that you send to your audience in order to promote your product, website, blog, etc. A great example of a promotional message is an e-mail blast.

Therefore, Facebook made two important changes: the 24-hour window and message tags.

24-hour window

Every time a user communicates with your chatbot, a “24-hour messaging window” will become active. Within this window, you can send every message to the user, with absolutely no constraints.

Every time the user interacts with your chatbot, the “24-hour messaging window” will start over again. So take this example:

User interacts with your chatbot. *24-hour messaging window starts*

The user does not interact for 4 hours, so there are still 20-hours left in the messaging window.

After an additional 4 hours, the user interacts again with your chatbot. *24-hour messaging window starts over*

And this will go on and on, until the user does not interact with your chatbot anymore and the 24-hour messaging window is over.

Message Tags

But what about messages outside the 24-hour window?

Facebook made four tags for that. The reason behind it, is that the message that you are sending need to be tagged with one of those four tags, otherwise the message will not be delivered to the user.

The four tags are:

  1. CONFIRMED_EVENT_UPDATE
    The tag you need when you send the user reminders or updates for an event they have registered for (e.g. event updates or purchased tickets). This tag can be used for upcoming events and events in progress.
  2. POST_PURCHASE_UPDATE
    A message with this tag notifies the user of an update on a recent purchase.
    Examples are the confirmation of a transaction or notification of shipment status.
  3. ACCOUNT_UPDATE
    A message with this tag notifies the user of a non-recurring change to their application or account.
    Examples are a change in application status or notification of suspicious activity
  4. HUMAN_AGENT
    This tag allow human agents to respond to user inquiries. Messages can be sent within 7 days after a user message.
    Note: this tag is still in beta version and can only be used by beta-testers.

But, what about messages without these tags?

And now I hear you think, what about messages that don’t relate to one of those tags?

Simple: you need to pay for them.

Facebook has an option for this, called sponsored messaging. This is basically that you need to pay for a message which you send to people who interacted with your chatbot.

changes-4th-march-2020

 

So, what do you need to do?

Good question!

You need to go through every message in every flow you have and follow my cheatsheet:

fb-messenger-january-cheatsheet

  1. Can I tag it with one of the four tags (mentioned above)?
    If you can answer with “Yes”, tag that message with the right tag and you are done!
    If the answer is no, go to the following step…
  2. Can I transform it, so it fits within the 24 hour window?
    If you can transform the message into a message that fits within the 24 hour window, then do it!
    An example of a message that fits, is when normally you send a sequence of several messages and the time between those message is 2 days. You can set the time between those messages to 23 hours, so it fits within the 24 hour window and then you are done!
    If this is not the case, go to step 3!
  3. Is it worth paying for?
    Is the message so important to you that want to pay for it to deliver it to your audience? Then, run an ad!
    If this is not the case, go to step 4…
  4. Get the e-mail and/or phone number and go omni-channel!
    If you do not have the money to run an ad on the specific message (or it is not that important), make sure you capture the e-mail and phone number of the person within the 24-hour window. If you do this, you can use other channels to contact with the person, for example e-mail or SMS.

By the way, omni-channel is just a fancy word for contacting your audience through multiple channels 😉

 

Can I still send broadcasts?

Yes, you can.

But, you can only send broadcasts to the users who engaged with your chatbot in the last 24 hours, so that probably will not be much that users.

So yeah, the effectiveness of broadcasts is decreasing. But, you can still use them:

  1. Use Sponsored Messages to broadcast your information. This will cost you some money but allows you to send messages to users outside the 24-hour window
  2. Use other channels (like Email/SMS/WhatsApp) to send your broadcasts. For this, you need the email address/phone number of the user.
  3. Use the One-Time Notification to send broadcasts to your users.

 

Conclusion

With the new regulations of Facebook Messenger coming up, you need to change your chatbot flows for Facebook Messenger. If you follow my cheatsheet and go through every message, you will all be set for the changes which come into effect on March 4th, 2020.

Now you are probably thinking “I cannot do a lot of things with my chatbot which I could do before, without paying for it…” and you are probably right. Facebook also acknowledged this fact and therefore they introduced One-Time Notification, which allows you to send one message outside the 24-hour window. Want to know how this works? Read my article here.

Comments (14)

  1. Tariq

    So this only applies for sequenced message, post comment messages, but the normal bot flow is not affected considering the user will be the one starting the conversation am I correct?

    1. Joren Wouters

      Yes that is right, the normal chatbot flow is not affected when the user starts the conversation.

  2. Gey

    Hello, I never had any chatbot installed and I got this message on top of my FB page: Your Automated Page Messaging Needs Attention
    To prepare for upcoming changes to the Messenger Platform Policy on March 4, 2020, please ensure your Page’s message tag usage follows the guidelines laid out in the Facebook developer docs.
    Do I need to make anything? I never engage with people except if they contact me.
    Many thanks for your help,
    Gey

    1. Joren Wouters

      Hey Gey, if you don’t use any chatbot, you don’t have to worry about this notification. The new policy is only applicable to chatbots.

  3. Robert Bucko

    Hey, thanks for the article it helps. One question. I have a course (13 weeks), each week I send one message through the chat bot. Basically it is just a delivery system of the messages. If I put “post purchase update” tag, will it be acceptable? Or how would you make sure chat bot deliver messages if it is part of one purchases? (13 weeks program). Thanks for your time and help.

    1. Joren Wouters

      Hey Robert! I don’t think Facebook will accept the Post Purchase Update tag, because that tag is primarily meant for order confirmations and updates on shipping (things like that). I would just send the user a One-Time Notification request each time you send a message, with “Is it okay if I send you the following lesson next week?” and then the user can click on “Notify Me” and get that message. Since they already opted-in for your course, they will definitely click that. If you don’t know what the One-Time Notification is, check https://chatimize.com/one-time-notification/

  4. Hello

    I really enjoy the blog post. Really Great.

    1. Joren Wouters

      Thank you 🙂

  5. lee

    Hi,
    We have found page name to be violating the following platform policies:
    Platform Policy 17.8.1.b: Message Tags: Select message tags may be sent outside of the 24 hour period as described within our technical documentation. Monitor your block rate, to understand how people are responding to your messages. You may only use a message tag, template, quick reply or other structured message for its intended purpose as described within our technical documentation; don’t use message tags, templates, quick replies, or other structured messages for any purpose other than its intended purpose.
    This warning is to alert you of the issue so you can bring your page’s messaging experience into compliance without further enforcement actions. We encourage you to review our Messenger Tag Best Practices, Message Tags Documentation, and Messenger Platform Policies to learn more about our policies and recommend that you ensure proper use before sending more messages.
    Further violations of this or other policies may result in Delivery Boy’s messaging capabilities being temporarily or permanently suspended.
    Best regards,
    The Messenger Team

    Page Restrictions

    Your Page is at risk of having messaging restricted because messages sent by your Page’s automated messaging experience are violating policies.

    how to clean this message i already edit my chatbot flow and messenger setting in my page

    1. Joren Wouters

      Hey Lee,

      That’s a lot ;).

      First of all, I would recommend to check out my blog post: https://chatimize.com/banned-facebook/ and make sure you check all the steps in that post.
      After you’ve done that, I would reply to the message of Facebook by explaining to them which steps you undertook and that the problem should be resolved now.

    2. Yusuf

      Hi,

      I’m currently using Manychat to deliver a 30 Days course on FB Messenger. I use sequence with 1 day interval and Confirm-Event-Update as the tag and I made the course as interactive as possible but there are days when the students rest (they won’t get any messages at all).

      Is my Facebook page at any risk?

      Thanks.

      1. Joren Wouters

        Hey Yusuf, great question! Yes, I think your page is at risk. The Confirmed-Event-Update tag is for events a user registered for. But an online course is not an event, so you can’t use this tag. My advice is to do the following:
        1. Don’t use the Confired-Event-Update tag anymore
        2. Set the interval to 23 hours. This way, the user is still in the 24-hour window if you send the next lesson of your course.
        3. Use the One-Time Notification if the user doesn’t interact with that message. For more information on this, check https://chatimize.com/one-time-notification/

  6. Ingrid

    Hi Joren,

    Thank u for sharing this great content. I have met with the same situation as Lee: the page’s messaing being temporalily suspended, and even worse, one of my page was unpublished by Facebook and we can’t get it back to published status for update any information now.
    1. Was this unpublished page tagged by Facebook and will it affect my ad account performance in the Business Manager?
    2. Will this unpublished page affect my Facebook account and other pages I have managed? Or the Facebook pages are actually indpendent for their own page performance or quality, are they?

    Thanks for your time.

    1. Joren Wouters

      Hey Ingrid,

      1. Facebook unpublished your page because they thought you were violating the rules. Is there any chance you can contact Facebook to ask for their reason? Also, to my knowledge, this doesn’t affect your ad account performance (as long as these ads don’t go to your chatbot).
      2. Yes, The Facebook Pages are independent of their own page performance and quality.

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