Messenger changes and how to deal with them

Messenger changes and how to deal with them.

If you’re into Messenger Marketing, then you probably already know about the upcoming Messenger changes of March 4, 2020.

Since we’ve put out our Messenger Bot Giveaways, and the Milestone Referral for Messenger templates, it’s evident that these changes would impact some of our users as well.

This article is an attempt to list the changes in Facebook Messenger, and how you can overcome everything that looks like an obstacle for you.

referral marketing guide

 Spoiler Alert: They are not that many! It’s evident that Messenger is trying to improve the User Experience, protect everyday people from spam, and drive better business outcomes.

“At Messenger, we want to help people and businesses connect in meaningful ways.

We remain committed to helping businesses continue to grow and thrive on our platform.

That’s why we are making updates to our platform to improve the user experience for people, and to help businesses drive more effective outcomes on Messenger.”

-Ze’ev Rosenstein, Head of People to Business Messaging, Messenger

Overall, there are three changes taking place from March 4, 2020:

  1. The “24+1” messaging window will become a “24” messaging window.
  2. Subscription Messaging will be available for News Pages only.
  3. There will be a downsizing of available Message Tags from 17, to only
  4.  Let’s see the changes in-depth and how you can deal with them.

1. The “24+1” messaging window will become a “24” messaging window.

To understand the change, we have to examine what the “24+1” messaging window means in the first place. The “24” stands for the 24-hour window you had since a user’s last interaction with your bot to send them any message.

The “+1” refers to your ability to send one follow-up message after the 24-hour window has expired. As of March 4, 2020, the “+1” follow up message will no longer be available.

This leaves you only with the 24-hour window since a user’s last interaction, to send them a message. What the “last interaction” stands for:

  • The user sends a message to the Page.
  • The user clicks a call-to-action button like Get Started within a Messenger conversation.
  • The user clicks on a Click-to-Messenger ad and then starts a conversation with the Page.
  • The user starts a conversation with a Page via a plugin, such as Send to Messenger plugin or the Checkbox plugin.
  • The user clicks on an m.me link with a ref parameter on an existing thread.
  • The user posts or comments on a Page. See Private Replies
  • The user reacts to a message. See Replies and Reactions

How to deal with this Messenger change.

After the Messenger update takes place, if you message someone and they don’t interact with your message after 24 hours, you can’t message them againUnless:

  • You use one of the four available tags (more on that further down the article).
  • You use One-time Notifications.
  • You send a sponsored message.
  • You send an email, or SMS.

Now, since these Messenger changes affect our Messenger Bot Giveaways and the Milestone Referral for Messenger templates, we had to make sure that our users will be affected as little as possible.

Note: For users who have already installed the template before these changes (before December 2019), please uninstall the campaign from your Manychat Page and create a new one to get the latest version.

Changes on our Messenger Bot Giveaways template.

You can read about all the changes we made on the specific template in our documentation.

Overall, both follow-up messages are delivered under 23 hours instead of two days, which was previously the case. This serves to maintain the 24-hour window rule.

In the first follow-up message, we have added two buttons (“Sure” and “Not interested”) to reopen the 24-hour window for these users.

re-engage message inside Viral Loops Messenger Bot Giveaways template

The “Sure” button opens the 24-hour window, while the “Not interested” button immediately leads to the second follow-up message.

Changes on our Milestone Referral for Messenger template.

You can read about all the changes we made on the specific template in our documentation.

If you’re familiar with Milestone referral campaigns, you know that it is highly unlikely for a user to reach a milestone within a day (or 23 hours).

That makes notifying a user when they reach a milestone almost impossible via Messenger.

That’s why we added in our template, three extra messages (“Ask for email”, “Consent message,” and “No Consent message”) to ask participants for their email address and get their explicit consent to send them an email notification whenever reaching a milestone.

Asking consent to send email notifications for successful milestones.

Apart from that, we integrated into this template the same changes with our Messenger Bot Giveaways template- as described in the previous section.

That means both follow-up messages are delivered under 23 hours, with the first follow-up message, including two buttons (“Sure” and “Not interested”) to reopen the 24-hour window for these users.

2. Subscription Messaging will be available for News Pages only.

Up until August 1, 2019, businesses were allowed to send Subscription Messages that fell under the category of News, Productivity, or Personal Tracking.

Past categories for level page subscription in Messenger until March 4th, 2020

That meant that a Messenger Bot platform (like Manychat), could get app-level subscription permissions and pass it on to a Facebook Business Page.

As of August 1, 2019, any page that wanted to send Subscription Messages for broadcasting, had to submit their bot for review to get page-level subscription permission.

The policy changes once again, as Facebook announced that Subscription Messaging permission is going to be available only for News Pages, starting March 4, 2020.

All other types of Business Pages will no longer be eligible to send Subscription Messages.

3. The downsizing of available Message Tags from 17 to 4.

Up until now, if you wanted to send to your Messenger subscribers a (non-promotional) message outside of the “24+1” messaging window, you could use one of the 17 available tags provided by Facebook.

From March 4, 2020, and on, some of the previously available tags will be merged, and others will be discontinued entirely.

That results in a downsizing of available Message Tags from 17 to 4.

The four available Message Tags:

  1. Confirmed Event Update.
  2. Post-Purchase Update.
  3. Account Update.
  4. Human-Agent.

You can see a more detailed version of what each Messaging Tag represents in Facebook’s documentation.

How to deal with this Messenger change.

This particular change will affect many businesses using previously available tags like ‘Business Productivity’ and ‘Community Alert’ for non-promotional broadcasts.

We used it as well.

For starters, the obvious solution is to start using the new tags correctly.

If you’re using Manychat, you can add tags easily by clicking on the message in Flow Builder and choose from the drop-down:

Choosing a Messaging tag is easy from inside Manychat.

Messages that don’t have a Message Tag will not deliver outside the 24-hour messaging window as of March 4, 2020. Note that the incorrect usage of Messaging Tags may result in your Page not being able to send messages anymore. That being said, if your message doesn’t comply with the available Messaging Tags, then you have three options:

  • Send a sponsored message.
  • Send an SMS.
  • Send an email.

Sponsored messages are a paid solution, but it’s probably going to have a good ROI since not so many people use it yet. Manychat already integrated this feature inside their product, so that you can send sponsored messages directly from there.

Sponsored messages don’t have to comply with tags of the 24hour messaging window, and can be full-on promotional.

If you want to send either an email or SMS, you need to get explicit consent from users before sending them anything.

You can build these emails/SMS right inside the flows you put together in ManyChat.

Before you go.

The face of Messenger Marketing will change once again after March 4, 2020.

Facebook made it clear that their goal is to protect users from spam and improve the User Experience of the platform.

Many of the businesses using Messenger as a marketing channel, will be pushed to adapt their strategy according to the new policies, or use paid promotions.

Viral Loops adjusted our Messenger Bot Giveaways, and the Milestone Referral for Messenger templates, and our users are prepared for the new era.

If you want to build a seamless referral marketing experience via Messenger, you can still do it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like