Facebook Updates Messenger Platform Policies, Speeds Up Review Policy

The main updates are a 24-hour window for businesses and developers using the Send/Receive API to respond to users’ messages, as well as a test of subscription messaging for specific use cases.

Facebook Monday announced a policy update for its Messenger Platform, as well as a revamped review policy for submissions by developers.

Product manager Seth Rosenberg announced in a blog post that the main updates are a 24-hour window for businesses and developers using the Send/Receive API (application-programming interface) to respond to users’ messages, as well as a test of subscription messaging for specific use cases. He wrote:

Businesses and developers using the Send/Receive API will now have up to 24 hours to respond to a message initiated by a person in Messenger when using standard messaging. There is also an allowance to send one message after the 24-hour window. Each time a person responds to a business through one of the eligible actions listed in the chart below, the clock will reset. This new policy allows businesses to re-engage an inactive user, while also providing people with more relevant and timely information that they requested.

FacebookMessengerPlatformUpdateChart

If a business or developer is providing live chat support through the Send/Receive API, this is also subject to this new policy. If a business or developer is unable to respond within the 24-hour window (for instance, if they are offline or an issue takes longer to resolve), they have the ability to respond with one additional message outside of the 24-hour window.

The restriction on promotional content has been removed for standard messaging.

Template messages—including receipts and flight notifications–can be sent beyond the 24-hour mark.

Rosenberg wrote that recipients must opt in for subscription messaging, adding that content sent this way can be distributed outside of the 24-hour period, but these messages will not have the same functionality as standard messages, and they cannot contain promotional content. He outlined the following use cases that are eligible for the test of subscription messaging:

  • News: Bots whose primary purpose is to inform people about recent or important events or information in categories such as sports, finance, business, real estate, weather, traffic, politics and entertainment.
  • Productivity: Bots whose primary purpose is to enable people to manage their personal productivity with tasks such as managing calendar events, receiving reminders and paying bills.
  • Personal trackers: Bots that enable people to receive and monitor information about themselves in categories such as fitness, health, wellness and finance.

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Finally, Rosenberg wrote that the social network’s review process has been streamlined to enable all applications to be reviewed within five days of being submitted, providing the following details for developers:

  • New Send/Receive API integrations: Businesses and developers with a new Send/Receive API integration should go through the review flow to submit their standard or subscription messaging experience.
  • Existing Send/Receive API integrations, standard messaging: Existing businesses or developers on the Send/Receive API are automatically approved for standard messaging and have three months to comply with the standard messaging rules.
  • Existing Send/Receive API integrations, subscription messaging: Businesses or developers with existing subscription messaging integrations will have three months to comply with subscription messaging rules and six months to submit their experience for the new subscription permission. During the submission process, they will need to self-select into one of the approved use cases and agree to not send promotional messages. If these businesses or developers have not applied for the subscription messaging permission after six months, they will automatically be defaulted to standard messaging.

Developers: What are your thoughts on the updates to Facebook’s Messenger Platform policies?