Facebook Message Types

Facebook differs from some of our other platforms in that it requires the bot owner to classify each message into a 'type'. This helps them to enforce certain usage policies.

Some Facebook message types are only available to those Facebook pages with subscription messaging approval, granted directly by Facebook after a review.

Understanding the Available Types

The various message types are described by Facebook in their Guide to Sending Messages.

If you only ever send messages back immediately in response to a user's message, and don't use features like broadcast or the 'wait' service, then you can safely choose 'Response' as the message type in all cases (the default in Flow XO). You don't need any special permissions.

If you send messages after a delay, or use the broadcast feature, then you should read up on the different message types and decide on the most suitable option for each of the messages you send. Of course, if you need subscription messaging approval, you will need to apply to Facebook for that approval too.

Specifying the Message Type/Tag in Flow XO

On each action in Flow XO for sending messages, there is a section where you can specify a message type or tag. This may be collapsed (you'll see an option to 'use a different message type'). When expanded, the field looks like this:

In fact, you need to consider both the message type and possibly a message tag. The guide linked to in the previous section explains the difference between the two. To make it simpler, we combine message types and tags into a single dropdown list.

Broadcasts and Message Types

You're always in control of the message type you use when sending messages through Flow XO. However, we do try and set some sensible defaults.

When sending a message outside of a broadcast flow, the message type section is collapsed and the default 'Response' message type selected. This will suit the majority of cases, but you can expand the section and change it if you need.

When sending messages in broadcast flows, the message type section is always shown. The default in broadcast flows will be 'Update' (a more suitable default), but you should still consider the best message type for the broadcast you're sending.

Message Type Field and Other Platforms

The message type field is completely ignored when sending messages through other platforms.

Applying for Subscription Messaging

If the type of messages you're sending require subscription messaging permission, you will need to apply directly to Facebook for approval for each Facebook page you have connected in Flow XO.

You'll find more information about applying for subscription messaging over at Facebook.

Let us know how we can improve Flow XO on our feedback site.

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