Facebook Messenger - March 4, 2020 Policy Updates

As many of you may know, on March 4, 2020, Facebook will begin enforcing a set of changes to their facebook messenger delivery policies which further restrict the scenarios in which you are allowed to send promotional messages to your subscribers.

According to Facebook, these changes are designed to simplify the platform and encourage more meaningful interactions on the Messenger platform. In their own words:

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.

You can read Facebooks announcement of these policies here

Please note, we have updated Flow XO to support Facebook's new One Time Notification API - which was added as a result of customer feedback as a way to engage users outside of the 24 hour messaging with with their explicit permission. Please read about that API, and how to use it, here.

What is Changing

  • Elimination of the +1 in the 24+1 Rule
  • Consolidation of Message Tags from 17 to 4
  • Elimination of the "Subscription Messaging" permission (except for verified news organizations)
  • Sponsored Messages

Elimination of the +1 in the 24+1 rule

The most significant change is the elimination of the "+1" in the famous 24+1 rule which, until March 4, 2020, allows you to send a single promotional message to a subscriber after 24 hours has elapsed since they have last communicated with your bot. This policy allowed you one opportunity, once an interaction with a subscriber was complete, to re-engage them for promotional purposes.

On March 4, 2020, this "extra" message will no longer be permitted, and ALL promotional messages to your subscribers must take place within 24 hours of the users last message to you.

While this new policy may limit your flexibility in re-engaging your subscribers on the Messenger platform, Flow XO provides a myriad of tools and integrations that you can use to re-engage your users through other means, such as SMS messages or E-mail, and drive them back to messenger, which can restart the 24 hour messaging window. It is an excellent idea to begin collecting users e-mail addresses, SMS numbers, or other pieces of contact information so that you can re-engage them across a variety of channels when Facebook messengers policies restrict you from using Messenger alone.

Consolidation of Message Tags

While Facebook has long allowed non-promotional messages to be sent outside of the standard messaging window using a relatively broad set of "message tags" that indicate the purpose or context behind the message, the list of allowed message tags has been reduced from 17 to 4. The four that remain are:

CONFIRMED_EVENT_UPDATE Send the user reminders or updates for an event they have registered for (e.g., RSVP'ed, purchased tickets). This tag may be used for upcoming events and events in progress.
  • Reminder of upcoming classes, appointments, or events that the user has scheduled
  • Confirmation of user's reservation or attendance to an accepted event or appointment
  • Notification of user's transportation or trip scheduled, such as arrival, cancellation, baggage delay, or other status changes
  • Promotional content, including but not limited to deals, offers, coupons, and discounts
  • Content related to an event the user has not signed up for (e.g., reminders to purchase event tickets, cross-sell of other events, tour schedules, etc)
  • Messages related to past events
  • Prompts to any survey, poll, or reviews
POST_PURCHASE_UPDATE Notify the user of an update on a recent purchase.
  • Confirmation of transaction, such as invoices or receipts
  • Notifications of shipment status, such as product in-transit, shipped, delivered, or delayed
  • Changes related to an order that the user placed, such credit card has declined, backorder items, or other order updates that require user action
  • Promotional content, including but not limited to deals, promotions, coupons, and discounts
  • Messages that cross-sell or upsell products or services
  • Prompts to any survey, poll, or reviews
ACCOUNT_UPDATE Notify the user of a non-recurring change to their application or account.
  • A change in application status (e.g., credit card, job)
  • Notification of suspicious activity, such as fraud alerts
  • Promotional content, including but not limited to deals, promotions, coupons, and discounts
  • Recurring content (e.g., statement is ready, bill is due, new job listings)
  • Prompts to any survey, poll, or reviews
HUMAN_AGENT(Closed BETA) Allows human agents to respond to user inquiries. Messages can be sent within 7 days after a user message.
  • Human agent support for issues that cannot be resolved within the standard messaging window (e.g., business is closed for the weekend, issue requires >24 hours to resolve)
  • Automated messages
  • Content unrelated to user inquiry

NOTE: Of these four, the last one, HUMAN_AGENT, is not relevant to the kind of automated conversations enabled by Flow XO, and will not be listed as a message type in our system.

Any messages sent after March 4, 2020 outside of the standard 24 hours message window will not be delivered unless they are marked with one of these four tags. It is therefore important that all of your broadcast messages, messages sent after a Wait action that is longer than 24 hours, or messages triggered via service integration or webhook, are properly tagged with one of the first 3 messages tags in this list, or your messages will not be received by your subscribers.

If you have already tagged your messages with one of the previous 17 allowable tags, Flow XO will automatically convert your tag to one of these four, based on these conversion rules. However, it is strongly recommended that you review any messages you might be sending outside of the standard 24 hour messaging window and ensure they have an appropriate tag, and that they are non-promotional and comply with Facebooks prescribed use of each tag.

To adjust the message tag you want to use on your messages, every Flow XO task that can deliver a message via Facebook Messenger will have a "Message Tag" property. For the time being, the legacy tags will continue to appear in the list but will be marked as Deprecated. Soon, we will remove the legacy tags and only the official tags will remain.

Elimination of the Subscription Messaging Permission

Only Pages that are registered with the Facebook News Page Index (NPI) will be allowed to send non-promotional subscription messages. This means that if you were relying on the NON_PROMOTIONAL_SUBSCRIPTION tag to deliver subscription messages to subscribers, but are not on the Facebook News Page Index, you will need to start using a different tag (one of the 3 above) if appropriate, and if not, find another method (such as e-mail or SMS, both of which Flow XO support via integrations) to deliver subscription messages to your users.

Sponsored Messages

You can always send messages to your audience outside of the standard 24 hour messaging window by sending a Sponsored Message. A Sponsored Message is a paid message that is part of Facebook's ad platform. Currently, these are a cost effective way to engage your users. Please see here for more information.

Still need help? Contact Us Contact Us