Facebook: Messenger Newsletters Again Open for Everyone (But You’ll Have to Pay Soon)!
With Meta’s new focus on conversational messaging, the company has announced several changes in its messaging services. The latest one: the Messenger on Facebook is now opening up its recurring messaging feature for everyone (again). Starting now, any type of business can use Facebook’s Messenger to send out newsletters.
People love to talk to each other on messaging apps. And now they also increasingly expect to interact with businesses on messaging apps. According to Meta, one billion people contact businesses through a messaging service every day. “We are seeing a meaningful shift” in conversations, said Mark Zuckerberg in last week’s Conversations conference. And Meta is clearly determined to shift its messaging services along with it.
After last week’s announcement to open up the WhatsApp Cloud API to every business, Meta has now already made another big shift. Starting now, the company allows everyone again to send newsletters from Facebook’s Messenger. We explain how that works, and if it’s really the best option for your business.
Facebook: Messenger newsletters again open for all businesses
- It’s back! Meta opens up recurring notifications for all businesses!
- Requirements for sending out newsletters on Facebook
- How often can you send out notifications?
- Newsletter examples
- Will there be newsletters on Instagram Direct as well?
- Limitations of recurring notifications on Facebook
- Benefits of using a professional software solution for your newsletters
Being able to send out recurring notifications (a.k.a. newsletters) from the Messenger on Facebook is not a new feature. In fact, the recurring messages had already been a tool companies had access to, until Meta decided to limit the access in 2020. Since then, only media companies that fulfilled certain requirements were allowed to use it. Starting now, however, Meta again wants to allow all business to send out newsletters from the Messenger on Facebook.
At first, there will be a free trial period for companies, but Meta plans to make this a premium feature in the future, and charge businesses for it.
Recurring Notifications is a new, optional premium feature that we intend to charge businesses for in the future. It is currently available to all businesses using Messenger Platform as part of a free trial period. We currently charge businesses to send messages from the WhatsApp Business API and listening to customer feedback to guide decisions on our pricing model. We will inform customers and partners of any changes to the free trial with ample advance notice.
What is a recurring notification?
Recurring notifications on the Messenger on Facebook are basically messages that are being sent out to subscribers in regular intervals, very much like a newsletter. These messages could be anything from news to product updates and recommendations, and special offers.
🛑 Important: You cannot send users notifications without their previous consent. Businesses must receive an active opt-in from the users first.
Your opt-in request, including the title and image, encompasses the types of Recurring Notifications users can expect to receive, such as order updates, product recommendations, or certain offers.
Users now also can provide more feedback. This includes blocking a businesses’ messages, which could result in restrictions on the use of the service for your company in the future.
In order to ensure a high quality of notifications sent out to users and avoid spam, there are some requirements your business has to fulfill in order to be able to use the feature.
- You must comply with all applicable Developer Policies when using Recurring Notifications or other features of the Messenger from Meta.
- In order to protect users from spam, there is a limit to the number of opt-in requests you can send out to a user. Meta allows a maximum of ten opt-in requests per user over a seven-day period. Do not send duplicate opt-in requests to users!
- This applies even if the opt-in request is for a different frequency on the same topic. If pages attempt to send an opt-in request to a user for the same topic in less than a week, the app will receive an error message with error code 613 and the request will not be sent.
- You may only send a request for a user to opt-in to recurring notifications within the standard 24 hour messaging window. A user’s action of opting-in to recurring notifications does not open the 24 hour messaging window.
- If your business has low opt-in rates or if you have violated the community standards within the last 90 days, Meta can lower your limit to 5 opt-in requests per user over a seven day period.
- If your company receives too much negative feedback from users, your messaging capabilities can be restricted or removed.
- You are not allowed to offer any type of reward in exchange for people opting into your notifications.
👉 Curious about WhatsApp notification requirements? Read more about the opt-in Policy Update for WhatsApp Notifications!
As a business, you can send your subscribers daily, weekly or monthly updates.
Once a user has opted in to receive notifications, they can (depending on the offer) choose between daily, weekly, and monthly recurring notifications.
It’s also possible for users to manage the frequency in their app, and change their settings. For a more detailed overview, check out Meta’s developer page for recurring notifications.
Updating subscribers with regular messages is probably the most common way companies are using the recurring notifications on the Messenger on Facebook. This could be, for instance, news updates.
Another option is to send regular updates on new products or even promotions or shopping inspiration.
With the Messenger on Facebook having opened up to all businesses and allowing more diverse usages of the messenger service, we will probably soon see even more ways of using the service.
Right now (May 2022), the feature is only available on Facebook’s Messenger. However, Meta announced that businesses will also be able to send out newsletters on Instagram Direct, at some point in the fall of 2022.
As mentioned before, Facebook’s Messenger newsletters are only free of charge for a trial period. It’s unclear how long the trial will last, but Meta plans on charging businesses for the premium feature in the future.
In addition, if you run your newsletter service on the Messenger directly through Meta, data protection is not guaranteed.
The Facebook solution for Messenger newsletters is therefore a good option if you are only using Meta messaging services, data protection is not an issue for you, and if you don’t mind switching back and forth between different platforms to talk to your clients.
However, if you want to comply with data regulations, use multiple messaging apps, and have all services in one interface, a professional Business Solution Provider might be the better choice.
Business Solution Providers like MessengerPeople have already had years of experience in developing a ready-to-go messenger software for you that comes at a fair price and is easy to use. The software not only connects your business to the Meta API, but you can also:
- include other channels, like iMessage, RCS, Telegram, or Viber (and many more!),
- integrate simple chatbots (at no additional cost), and
- handle all conversations on one central interface.
In other words: with the “Messenger Communication Platform” (MCP) from MessengerPeople, you can already unlock all the messenger service features you want, and then some! With the MCP, you can:
- 👨⚖️ … use the Messenger from Meta and other messaging apps via the official Business API for customer communication in a GDPR-compliant way.
- 🗞️ … use the Messenger Information Assistant (MIA) to send messaging newsletters to your subscribers.
- 🚀… Start without IT effort and in the shortest possible time, even from a work-from-home setup!
- 💻… Edit and reply to all messages centrally, regardless what messenger app they are coming from.
- ↔ … Assign requests as tickets to your co-workers manually or automatically through auto-routing.
- 🤖 … Easily set up automation using our simple chatbot builder, which is free of charge.
- ⬆️ … Boost your efficiency with templated replies through a chatblock builder.
- 💰 … Use messenger channels effectively, at a fair price, and without a set-up fee for maximum personal digital consulting!