This blog post will give you a detailed overview of the Facebook messenger update & changes from the day it rolls on.
Dynamic blog: You can find the latest update always on the top of this article and the rest in descending order.
February 4, 2020
One-Time Notifications API (BETA), got introduced by Facebook to make it easy for businesses to reach & engage with their subscribers inside the messenger platform. Businesses have to get permission on page level to use this feature. Check this thread on our community to learn more about this update – One Time Notification API (Beta)
December 20, 2019
Listening to their community request, Facebook announced the below things which give some more time to explore the potential of messenger marketing and messenger chatbots.
- Messenger policy changes about “24-hour window rule” and simplified message tags announced on August 29, 2019, was about to take effect on January 15, 2020. Now Facebook postponed this messenger policy overview changes effective date to March 4, 2020.
- Broadcast messaging features will no longer be available after the 24-hour window from March 4, 2020. Also, Facebook introduced a new Marketing API for sponsored messages to get the best impression insights and ad delivery estimations.
- A new one-time notifications API feature through messenger chatbots had also been announced after getting the requests and feedback from the community. Businesses who want to send one time notifications like products back in stock, price drop alert and tickets for sales can use these features. Note that it is not similar like subscription messages, because you can’t send messages on a recurring basis by this feature.
December 04, 2019
- User Level Persistent Menu Out of Beta: Dynamic persistent menu on user-level and the messenger composer visibility were come out from beta. It has rolled out for general availability for all messenger users.
SilFer Bots has this feature to Enable/Disable message composer dynamically while creating messenger chat flow.
October 29, 2019
- Handover Protocol on Click to Messenger Ads: It enables some Facebook apps to collaborate with the message thread in the messenger. But this business set the automated message agents and live chat agents on a single click to messenger ads using JSON setup.
To use this feature on your business page on Facebook while running click to messenger ads, you need to set the role for the hand-over protocol. These are the two roles that have to be set by admin of the page,
- Primary Receiver: Any app assigned as the primary receiver was responsible for complete communication experience of the Facebook page. Also, only one app can be used as a primary receiver.
- Secondary Receiver: The app assigned to this receiver can hold some special functionalities and capabilities of the Facebook business age communication. You can give this secondary receiver role to multiple apps to handle the communication.
- Ice Breaker: To start the conversation without any struggle or confusion, the icebreaker feature was introduced on the messenger platform by Facebook. This feature will reduce friction while starting the conversation.
Business can use the FAQs on this space to help their audience start the conversation with your page.
September 30, 2019
- User-Level Persistent Menu Beta: Mark Zuckerberg on F8 conference said that Facebook is working to deliver the light and powerful messenger to give the best experience to both business and users. For this, Facebook announced dynamic persistent menu changes at the user level.
With this platform update, a business can deliver a more personalised persistent menu with different call to action on the menu for the users. Also, the business can create a messenger chat flow with enabling/disabling message composer dynamically on the flow. It was a beta feature and planned to be released for all general purposes in future.
- Private Replies: Facebook comment to messenger reply feature is already on the messenger platform and Facebook added few improvements on this feature by sending an image, links, templates and quick replies instead of sending a plain reply for the reply or comment on the respective Facebook post.
This message can be sent within 7 days of the comment or the date of the post created.
- App Link Support for URL Button: URL buttons are used to include website URL to open the webview of any website the messenger. Now, the URL buttons are supported with App Links where businesses can link their native app link in this URL button.
If you had a list of a product displayed on the messenger and you had the description of the product on your app, then you can provide the app link on this URL button to redirect the user to your native app.
- Notifications for Developers: Anyone who signed on Facebook Developer can subscribe to the newsletter from Facebook for Changelog notifications.
To get the notification about the changes on the platform, Go to developer settings, Click the Blogs & Docs drop-down, and look for messenger changelog updates. Then select by which medium you want to receive the update notifications from Facebook Developers.
And this is how the Example email from Facebook Developers looks like,
August 29, 2019
Facebook made an important messenger platform policy update with a message,
“ The Messenger Platform’s policies are designed to help people and businesses connect in ways that drive meaningful outcomes. At the heart of this is the understanding that people and businesses need a seamless, reliable way to get something done – whether it is getting a question answered, making a purchase, or communicating important and relevant updates. The following policy update is designed to make communication between people and businesses on Messenger relevant, important and timely.”
(These updates were about to take effect on January 2020 but do to the community request Facebook has extended the messenger policy effective time until March 4, 2020.)
- Standard Messenger Window Policy – Revised: Facebook wants the business to send a message to its customers instantly, not surprisingly. So they change the messaging window of businesses to reply to their consumers so that business can reply to their audience immediately but not after a 24-hours window.
To improve the business experience with their audience, the business will no longer send the message after 24-hour interaction with your page inbox, but they can send messages if that fits under allowed message tags. Also, if you want to send the message to your audience after 24-hour, you can use sponsored messages which are explained on the next point.
- Messages Outside 24-Hour Window rule: Business who wants to send a message for their subscribers after the 24-hour window for re-engagement, they can use sponsored messages.
Basically, promotional or non-promotional messages that have to be sent to your subscribers after 24-hours of interaction with your business can use this sponsored message feature, that you have to pay for it.
Yes, you need to spend bucks to send sponsored messages to your subscribers. But, sponsored messages are not messenger ads. Both are different, call to messenger ads are placed on the conversation list in your inbox and sponsored ads are promotional messages that you can inside the conversations (after 24-hour window).
- More & Shrinked Streamlined Tags: Message tags should be used when the business needs to send update content to their subscribers after 24-hour of user interaction with their messenger chatbot.
Business can’t send promotional messages like offers, deals, coupons, discounts, etc under these tags. Any personalised 1:1 content that values to your subscribers (which is also non-promotional) can be sent after 24-hour window rule. You don’t have to pay any penny for that, but the content (message) has to fit the use cases of allowed message tags by Facebook.
Now we have 17 messaging tags to use, but Facebook announced that they will shrink these 17 tags tin to 4 simple and effective messages tags to deliver the best experience to their users.
The recently shrank and updated message tags are,
- Confirmed Event Update: Can send reminder or event updates like confirmation, ticket details, etc.
- Post Purchase Update: Can send order updates like shipment details or status, transaction confirmation, change in the orders, etc.
- Account Update: Can send ticket application status, form process status, job application status, etc.
- Human-agent: Can send support detail messages that can be solved after 24 hours, after weekends or holidays, etc.
- Subscription Messaging Update (BETA): Subscription messages can be sent to your subscribers at any time whether it’s before or after the 24-hour window, you can send the non-promotional messages to your subscribers,.
But some people violate the policy of using this messaging option that led the poor experience to the messenger users. So, Facebook decided to restrict the subscription messaging feature only to the news organizations who already had registered their page on Facebook News Page Index.
So, after March 4, 2020, subscription messaging features will not be available to other pages.
- DIscovery Tabs Removal: To find the business on Facebook messenger platform, discovery tab is used to search the business with their name. But, to simplify the messenger experience to its users, Facebook is removing the discovery tab form the messenger platform.
But the improvements in m.me links on many apps related to Facebook and on ads helps the business to get the audience to the page messenger inbox easily.
August 15, 2019
- Chatbot Review: Messenger chatbot can be reviewed by giving them a star & text review for their experience with users. But it was removed by Facebook and the page owners will not see the rating and reviews on page settings or in the app dashboard.
July 29, 2019
- m.me link update: Short link that brings people to the messenger platform had an update for business use. M.me links with ref parameters can be used to reopen the existing 24-hour window.
When a user clicks the m.me link with the ref parameter, the 24-hour window will open and the user will take down to the existing thread of interaction with your business on Facebook messenger.
It provides added value to the business to bring the 24-hour window back to the timeline and can also analyze the entry of new or existing users with the ref parameter used.
June 10, 2019
Since Facebook made an announcement of the lighter, smaller and effective messenger to its users, they had made the following change to give the best experience and value to its users.
- Location Sharing: The quick reply feature with location sharing had removed by Facebook on the messenger platform. It feature has been eliminated from all the messenger versions on October 29, 2019.
Even though it affects the business by gathering the user location detail as a quick reply, the business can still get the location details by asking them to enter the zip code, street, etc.
- Share button: Sharing images, videos or any other rich media file on messenger can’t be done. Because Facebook has removed the share button on its messenger platform. But, you can use the forward option to spread the messages or files to your friends, families or business.
- Messenger Codes: Every Facebook business page has its unique messenger code and it can be shared to communicate with the business. Lots of businesses had used this feature to make the audience reach their business inbox easily.
But business can still create scannable QR codes with the m.me links as an alternative to messenger codes.
May 8, 2019
- Facebook introduced the sample messenger app called “Original Coast Clothing” to give the demonstration of how messenger chatbots work on delivering the best experience to customers. Facebook also added how-to guides and open-source code to encourage more people using messenger automation.
Click the image below to test Facebook demo “original coast clothing” messenger chatbot works.
January 8, 2019
- Customer Chat Plugin (BETA): Facebook introduces a beta chat plugin where businesses can use on their platform like websites (like the blue-bubble messenger floating on the bottom-right of our website), apps, etc. Users can communicate with your messenger chatbot or live human agent from your website itself.
The conversation can be viewed after on the messenger inbox, hence it will be easy for your customer to contact your business.
- Checkbox Plugin Update: The common plugin used to opt-in subscribers to your messenger channel cannot be unchecked.
Facebook will not allow a business to use pre-checked checkbox plugin since your audience needs to decide from which Facebook account they want to get opt-in. If your audience wants to get opt-in from a different Facebook account they can authenticate to other Facebook accounts at this moment.
Business can use this feature at newsletter opt-in, product checkout page, etc.