Last week, Facebook made some pretty big changes to how businesses using Facebook Messenger for business will continue in the future. How will these changes force digital marketers to change their chatbot development? One of the biggest changes was there is no longer the ’24 + 1 rule’. What this rule was, once someone engages with your chatbot message, you can send promotional and non-promotional messages up to 24 hours. Then you could send 1 more non-promotional message to try to get someone to re-engage with your chatbot.
24 + 1 Messenger Rule Is No More
Now with the new rules in place, you only have 24 hours from the last engagement to send them messages and after 24 hours, you can only send them a message using Sponsored Messages (on the Facebook Ads Platform). So if they engage with this message which can be promotional, you start the 24 hours time window over again. If they don’t engage, you have to either wait until they reach out to you or send another Sponsored Message. You also had a chance to use one of the 17 messaging tags to send non-promotional messages outside of the window to get engagement. This has been trimmed down to 4 tags (https://developers.facebook.com/docs/messenger-platform/send-messages/message-tags).
I’m sure this was put in place for a couple of reasons at least. One, to help with marketers who are currently violating the 24+1 rule by sending messages outside of the time. Also, it helps Facebook make more money in ad revenue by pretty much eliminating
Broadcasts and the only way to mass message your messenger subscribers is Sponsored Messages.
Another thing that will be affected is long Sequences. Before, you could have a sequence going that spanned for days. Now with this new rule in place, this will need to be changed.
Get More Engagement With Your Chatbot
On the bright side, this will force digital marketers to be more creative with their engagement and follow up strategies. Using messenger should be something to get quick attention and will do great to get your target audience to quickly provide you with information. We would do follow up sequences using our chatbots we build, but now, we will work to incorporate other strategic means to help with follow up like email and SMS. We will also work with our clients to build processes for sending sponsored messages.
Is Facebook Killing Chatbots?
There is a lot of chatter about this killing chatbots. I don’t agree with this. It will make digital marketers and chatbot developers become more creative and strategic when it comes to how we engage with customers and how to continue to engage with them.
Some of the bots we have built would function more like personal assistants for the business, so the bot would interact with the business owners themselves to keep them updated with things going on within their business using APIs and Zapier for other types of integrations with our Facebook Messenger Chatbots.
This will definitely cut down on chatbots out there spamming people with offers that they don’t want.
What Is The Future Of Chatbots Using Facebook Messenger
There are a lot of the unknown out there with the future of chatbots. One thing I wonder is will Facebook make a seamless way for people who receive our Sponsored Message to opt-out instead of just banning our page. Because just because someone Unsubscribes from your bot using ManyChat or other chatbot makers, they will still receive Sponsored Messages. I hope that with the increase of banned pages, it won’t negatively impact businesses who are not spamming but just have users who can still receive these messages a way to get out without penalizing the business page.
I will share a screen share on how you can add subscribers to a Facebook Custom Audience and also add users who have unsubscribed from your bot so that you don’t send them a Sponsored Message. So when using Facebook Ads to send your Sponsored Message, you can exclude the audience of un-subscribers.
These changes need to be in by January 15, 2020, or there may be penalties or even banning pages or messaging capabilities by Facebook. We will have to wait and see.
Let me know if you have any question!