Facebook Messenger Update
Facebook Messenger Update – In this article we regularly compile the latest Facebook Messenger updates as well as planned features for app versions on Android and iOS.
Liveblog: As soon as there is new information about Facebook Messenger and new app versions and/or features, we will update this article.
- Restriction of the Facebook Messenger API as of December 16th
- (Preliminary) break for Facebook Messenger message campaigns
- Facebook Messenger API opening strengthens customer communication via Instagram Messaging!
- Interlocking of Facebook Messenger and Instagram Direct Messages
- Limiting the forwarding of content
- Page Messages become available in Messenger
- Merging of Instagram Direct and Facebook Messenger begins
- Facebook Messenger Chat Plugin now with guest mode!
- “One-Time-Notification” API (Beta) – Facebook Messenger opens customer communication!
- Facebook Messenger soon with Face ID?
- Introduction of Facebook Pay for Facebook and Facebook Messenger
- Advanced Business Features for Messenger
- Facebook Messenger tests Screen Sharing Feature
- Facebook Messenger: Get the dark mode in just 3 steps
- Facebook Messenger: From now on, already sent messages can be deleted.
- 5 Differences between Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp
- Facebook Messenger 4: major redesign rolled out worldwide and triggers criticism
Restriction of the Facebook Messenger API as of December 16th
After restrictions in the Messenger Advertisement now follow in the middle of December further function limitations in the Messenger itself. Here too, Facebook cites as a reason that European data protection regulations are to be observed. These changes will affect some API and UI components for the following target groups:
- Chats from sites in Europe
- Chats from sites with administrators from Europe
- Chats with users from Europe
The following functions are affected:
As of December 16th, the following features will no longer be available in Facebook Messenger:
- Audio, video and document integration
- Buttons (restriction desktop – mobile still possible)
- Galleries (restriction desktop – mobile still possible)
- Persistent menu
- Handover protocol (One time Notification API)
- Other graphic elements
In concrete terms, this means that the Messenger is limited in its range of functions and dialogs must now be conducted with text elements and links. In particular, the loss of the ability to send videos, audio or documents and to receive them from users severely limits the interactive elements in the dialog with customers, fans and interested parties in Facebook Messenger. Here, direct links to the respective media content must be sent as an alternative, which can lead to user-friendly media breaks.
The other restrictions – apart from the changes to media delivery relevant for MessengerPeople customers – can be read in detail in Thomas Hutter’s blog post or, with a technical focus, in the Facebook Developers blog post.
Conclusion: Should Facebook not be able to quickly return to the familiar range of functions (API and UI), one of the few advantages of Facebook Messenger over WhatsApp will disappear, especially since interactive buttons are now also possible via the official WhatsApp Business API.
(Preliminary) break for Facebook Messenger message campaigns
Starting in December, Facebook will disable certain ads, targeting options and metrics for ads delivered to and from Europe due to new privacy regulations in Europe.
Affected are the selection of conversions or leads as target metrics of the campaigns in the Advertising Manager in the context of the target “Messages”, “Traffic” or “Conversions”. In addition, it is no longer possible to use message templates for lead generation in the Messenger and the important “Sponsored Messages” are also paused until further notice.
As an alternative, Facebook mentions the following possibilities in their blog post:
- The Link Click Optimization can be used instead of the Message or Lead Optimization.
- The template “Start conversations” can be used instead of the template “Lead generation”.
Until Facebook implements the data protection measures stipulated by the GDPR, there is therefore only one option left: to use “softer” targets in the application. However, since the algorithm is designed to send clear signals to users, it must be expected that the alternatives mentioned will not be as successful as before. It remains exciting!
Facebook Messenger API opening strengthens customer communication via Instagram Messaging!
The background to the opening of the Facebook Messenger API for Instagram is the intended increasing integration of the two messaging apps and the other members of the Facebook Family of Apps, so that one day companies and customers can talk to each other across all channels.
Facebook extends its Messenger API to support Instagram messaging, enabling developers and enterprises to integrate Instagram messaging into their favorite business applications and workflows to deliver successful customer communications through Instagram…
Last year, the number of daily conversations between people and businesses on Messenger and Instagram increased by over 40 percent.
Marion Boiteux, Facebook for Developers
Facebook announced that the new Messenger API will support automated responses to Instagram for the first time. The company opened the Messenger platform to chat bots back in 2016 and is now looking to speed up response time to Instagram by allowing companies to pre-qualify automated responses to some of their most common incoming requests. Customers, in turn, appreciate a fast and problem-oriented response time from companies.
This means, for example, that first level support Chatbots will soon be used in Instagram customer communication between companies and customers, which will ultimately strengthen personal communication and advice to customers on more complex issues, and overall help to ensure that customer inquiries are processed more quickly because, once an inquiry has been pre-qualified, they hand it over to a human colleague.
Opening the Messenger API to Instagram also allows companies to map access to customer conversations within applications in their daily workflows, such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems. This means that messages from a customer could be displayed next to their order history, for example.
Finally, this update also integrates the messaging capabilities of Facebook Shops into the Messenger API, enabling companies to create more engaging and engaging customer experiences.
The updated Messenger API is currently available as part of a BETA program for selected developers and companies, including Adidas, Amaro, Glossier, H&M, Michael Kors, Nars and Sephora.
Interlocking of Facebook Messenger and Instagram Direct Messages
Early last year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg presented his vision for the Facebook Family of Apps: Building a privacy-focused messaging and social networking platform. Yesterday it was announced that Instagram will integrate some of the features of Facebook Messenger for its direct messages. After several attempts to add value to Instagram’s direct messaging (including testing its own messaging app in the past), Facebook has now found a solution to connect Facebook Messenger and Instagram.
In addition, Instagram Direct will include 10 new features taken from Facebook Messenger. With over 1.3 billion users, FacebookMessenger is the second largest messenger in the world after WhatsApp with over 2 billion users.
At the heart of the update to Instagram’s Direct Messaging feature is Cross App Messaging and Calling. This means that with the update Facebook Messenger users can chat directly with Instagram users and vice versa. Previously, both parties needed the same app, either the Facebook Messenger or the Instagram app.
In addition, users will be able to watch videos on Facebook Watch, IGTV, Reels (coming soon), TV shows, movies and more during a video call.
In terms of privacy and security, both apps will also introduce new features. With the new update, users of both apps will get more individual control options to manage their own privacy. For example, users will be able to check whether message requests should be sent to their chat list or message request folder or whether they want to receive them at all.
Facebook also provides each user with tools to report suspicious activity and take action to block dubious users across apps and/or stop unwanted messages and calls.
Limiting the forwarding of content
The dissemination of false information etc. is a strong focus of the Facebook Group in 2020. Already introduced at WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger now also limits the forwarding of content to 5 contacts or 5 groups.
Limiting redirection is an effective means of slowing down the spread of viral misinformation and harmful content that has the potential to cause harm in the real world.
Source: Facebook Messenger Newsroom
Page messages become available in Messenger
Facebook continues to work on its blue Messenger app and now allows page messages (essages that users send to companies via Facebook Messenger) to be received and sent directly in Facebook Messenger. As a screenshot that appeared on Twitter shows, users can easily switch between the respective accounts.
Conclusion: For users with a low message volume this update is certainly a big plus, but this feature will hardly be used in large companies. For scalable processing of hundreds or thousands of messages per week, companies should rely on an easy-to-use messaging ticket system to ensure a seamless and positive customer experience.
Merging of Instagram Direct and Facebook Messenger begins
Already announced in 2019, Facebook’s planned integration of the news function of the popular social network app Instagram and Facebook Messenger will now begin. The global rollout is currently underway and users will receive a pop-up notification when opening Instagram, announcing the merger along with other minor updates (see screenshot). Users will also be offered the update directly via click, which will facilitate rapid distribution.
Users do not have to activate the new messaging experience, but also have the option of rejecting the update – at least for the time being. If you activate the update, you will not only have a new design, which is very similar to Facebook Messenger, but also the possibility to be contacted by Facebook users via Facebook Messenger without having to install Instagram. Currently, it does not (yet) seem possible that Instagram users can contact Facebook users again.
Conclusion: An important and logical step towards the planned complete integration of Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.
Facebook Messenger Chat Plugin now with guest mode!
Some Facebook site owners may have noticed that they have a guest mode for the Facebook FB Messenger Customer Chat Plugin. The guest mode allows a user to start a chat with a company via the Customer Chat plug-in without having to log in to a Facebook account.
This guest user can start the dialog on the basis of a temporary Facebook account, which allows him to receive and send messages. Such Facebook Messenger chats for “guests” end when the user decides to end the conversation via the “more” menu or 24 hours after the conversation has started. The guest name appears as “guest” followed by a short numeric string.
If the company tries to send a message to this guest user when the guest accounts have been terminated, an error message is displayed: “This person cannot receive messages: This person is not currently receiving messages from you”. The transcript of these Facebook Messenger chats for “Guests” remains in the Guest user’s browser for up to 24 hours. However, even after the chat expires, companies keep a copy of the conversation in their inbox until they delete it.
Since June 16th 2020, Facebook has been rolling out the update on more and more Facebook company pages. The picture shows how the Facebook Messenger Customer Chat Plugin looks like with the new guest mode. The FB Messenger Chat Plugin is “customizeable”, which means that you can, for example, customize it to match your CI in terms of color. Companies can control the following steps in relation to the guest mode:
- Enable / disable guest mode via Facebook page settings: -> Messaging -> Add Messenger to your website -> Getting Started -> Disable guest mode
- Block a guest user in the Facebook inbox
- Report a repeated Guest User offender by using the form “Report a Guest User from the Chat Plugin” use
With the opening of the FB Messenger Customer Chat Plugin, Facebook Messenger takes a decisive step towards opening it up to users without a Facebook account and thus increasing its reach.
“One-Time-Notification” API (Beta) – Facebook Messenger opens customer communication!
Until January 15th, Facebook Messenger was also subject to what we know from WhatsApp, namely the so-called 24-hour service window. This means that within this time, companies were able to respond to a customer message and stay in touch with their customers via Messenger in a timely manner.
Following the 24-hour window, companies were allowed to send a single message to customers. This “24+1 option” for companies to remind their customers (“re-engagement message”) was abolished on January 15. According to Facebook, one reason for this is that customers expect a faster response from companies.
Instead, Facebook Messenger has now introduced the One-Time Notification API for businesses. This means that companies can notify their customers outside the 24 hour service window via “follow-up message”, as they were allowed to do under the 24+1 rule.
The key difference is that with the One-Time Notification API, companies can now send automated follow-up messages to their customers.
“One-Time Notification”: What could such a thing look like in concrete terms?
A customer is interested in an item of clothing that he has seen in an online store. Since it is currently out of stock, the store suggests the customer via Messenger to inform him/her when the product is in stock again.
The company requires the customer’s consent for this. By clicking on “Notify me”, the customer agrees to receive a message in the future related to the garment. The company can then set the customer to be informed as soon as the garment is back in stock in the online store.
One-Time Notification can also be of interest to companies in other respects. Namely, when you want to remind the customer not only of one garment, but also of other matching garments that are available in the store. For news publishers, for example, One-Time Notification could mean that in the future they could send customers a notification with up-to-date links on a particular topic.
Overall, One-Time Notification with the follow-up message to the customer promotes interaction between the company and the customer. All changes and Facebook Messenger updates are always aimed at continuously improving the engagement and user experience.
For one-time notification, this means that companies cannot send an infinite number of follow-up messages. The number of One-Time Notifications that companies can send to customers is limited (“the one-time notification API limits the business to a single message per user request“).
Facebook Messenger soon with Face ID?
According to a report, Facebook is currently working on a Face ID login for its Messenger. Screenshots show a preliminary version, but for the Android version of Facebook Messenger and not for the iOS version. Other Messenger apps such as WhatsApp Messenger or Telegram Messenger already offer this type of login.
For these types of privacy features, we would use the face id-type settings already present on the device, not our own version. https://t.co/nEvnfiFQmx
— Alexandru Voica (@alexvoica) January 26, 2020
According to a Facebook employee, if this security feature were to be introduced, the Face ID settings of the respective end device would be used, which in turn considerably reduces the effort required for Facebook.
Update November 13th
Facebook introduces an online payment system with Facebook Pay. It will gradually be available for Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. Initially, the function will be rolled out on Facebook and Facebook Messenger in the USA. Facebook and Facebook Messenger users in the USA can use Facebook Pay from this week on to send money, shop or donate. Other countries and apps such as Instagram and WhatsApp will follow.
Facebook Pay is the central basis for all online payment functions / mobile payment functions in the Facebook App ecosystem. Currently, after intensive testing, WhatsApp is about to launch WhatsApp Pay in India, the largest market for the world’s most popular messaging app.
At this year’s Facebook developer conference f8, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pointed out the importance of mobile payment at WhatsApp & Co. Paying had to be as easy as sending a picture. Facebook Pay brings Facebook a decisive step closer to its goal of integrating the four apps Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp more closely.
Update August 30th
As promised at the F8 a few months back, Facebook Messenger is now launching a variety of business policies and features which will position Messenger as a serious channel for business communication as well. Messenger is implementing a 24-hour window for businesses to respond to incoming user messages, to ensure fast responses and better service. Outside of these 24 hours, there are “message tags,” which Facebook is currently simplifying, allowing businesses to send personalized “message tags” for specific use cases, including event reminders, post-purchase updates, and more. For businesses who want to send promotional content, they can use sponsored messages as a fee-based option to send personal messages to users and re-engage them.
Here’s a closer look at the new business features:
Lead generation: Businesses can now take advantage of an automatic lead qualification process within Messenger. Templates are available in the Ads Manager and the solution can also be merged with CRM tools to help organize the lead generation.
Appointment booking: Within the Messenger API, there’s a new interface for appointment booking directly in the chat. This includes real-time confirmation and an integration to calendar softwares, meaning that businesses can use messaging conversations to schedule appointments, in-store meetings, phone calls, and more. This will be rolled out globally over the rest of the year!
Conversion tracking: Facebook is also updating the their conversion tracking within the Messenger platform so that businesses can track events that happen within a conversation. With this feature, businesses can see the measurable impact that messaging has on their business goals.
One last thing: Facebook will also be phasing out the Discover tab and will instead work on other entry points to connect users and businesses – including, of course, search and advertising, which are some of the most intuitive entry points for users to start messaging businesses.
Update August 29th
A so far unpublished feature in Android allows video and audio call users to make their screen visible to all participants. This allows users to view video and images stored on their own mobile phone or to view content outside the Facebook cosmos (YouTube videos, etc.) together with others.
When this function is rolled out for Android or iOS is currently open. In any case, this feature is an exciting approach of Facebook to keep users longer in the Messenger App.
Update March 5th
Facebook Messenger now also has a dark mode. Dark mode means that everything happens in the messenger app with a dark background. The main advantage: less strain on the eyes during use. The dark mode rollout is currently being promoted in Facebook Messenger by a small hack, which at the same time promotes interaction.
We’ll show you how to put your Facebook Messenger app into dark mode in just three steps. If you don’t like it, you can easily switch back to the default view.
Open the Facebook Messenger app and click on Chats in the navigation below.
Send a contact the emoji of the crescent moon 🌙.
3. Once you’ve done that, it’ll rain crescent moons. At the top of the screen you will see a message telling you that you can turn on dark mode on your Facebook Messenger profile page.
If you activate dark mode, it will quickly turn quite dark 😉
Update February 6th
What other messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram or Viber have already been offering is now finally also available on Facebook’s blue messaging app. For up to ten minutes after sending a message, a user is now able to delete the sent message! The message is then deleted not only from the user’s own chat history but also from those of other chat participants.
This is a feature that many users have been demanding for a long time. Especially since it recently became known that selected users had already been able to access this feature for some time. Similar to the messaging apps mentioned above, a message about the deletion is transparently displayed to all participants of the chat.
How to delete messages or photos in the chat:
- Open the chat via .
- Tap and hold to open the menu.
- The menu item “Remove” offers “Remove for You” and “Remove for Everyone”.
Update January 21st, 2019.
In addition to updates and new features, we have also been asked many times about the main differences between WhatsApp and the FB Messenger. So let’s take a look at some of the features just like Business Today did a few weeks ago.
1. Facebook Messenger wins 1:0 for Design
Here the FB Messenger is clearly ahead. With FB Messenger 4, users have just received a major redesign, including a logo, which is being rolled out worldwide. The aim of this redesign is to bring more clarity, simplicity and focus on the essentials into the Messenger App. Finally, the FB Messenger also offers a wide range of colors. For example, it is possible to adjust the colors of the chat sequences. WhatsApp is not that advanced yet. WhatsApp’s design still gives an “oldschool impression” compared to other messengers. It just became known that WhatsApp allows sticker integration via third-party providers and that Google as a well-known brand,starts with it.
2. Facebook Messenger wins 2:0 for Image Transfer
We all know it, Facebook’s image recognition. Of course, this also comes into play here, as well as the fact that the FB Messenger doesn’t set any limits for sending messages, while WhatsApp has reduced the forwarding of messages to 5 people (against the background of upcoming fake news). This reduction from 20 to 5 recipients of forwarded messages follows the example of India, where this limitation has already been in practice for some time.
3. WhatsApp scores 1 for Privacy (2:1)
WhatsApp has been and still is often criticized for its privacy. But compared to Facebook Messenger, the “green giant” has one big asset: end-to-end encryption. It comes into effect as soon as two users exchange information and only exists between them, or more precisely between the end devices. The situation is different with Facebook Messenger: a secret conversation can be started here, with encrypting the chat end-to-end on the basis of the protocol developed by Open Whisper Systems.
This protocol is also used for the messenger Signal, which is known for its security. The only problem with Secret Convcersations is that they are device-dependent. If I have a Secret Conversation on the iPhone, I have to create the same chat on the iPad as Secret Conversation (“one device only”). Normal messages on Facebook Messenger are also encrypted, but only until they reach the Facebook servers. If government agencies need to view a chat history, on reasonable suspicion, Facebook can provide them with this information. This is not possible with WhatsApp.
4. 2:2 because WhatsApp enables a deletion function for sent messages
While WhatsApp offers the complete deletion of already sent messages, this is not the case with FB Messenger.
Facebook Messenger is finally working on “Unsend Message” in the app for everyone!
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) October 12, 2018
The Unsend feature (only iOS) for the FB Messenger rolled out in November contains the following points: The complete deletion, i.e. unsending, can only be realized within 10 minutes after sending a message. In addition, Facebook stores the message for an undefined period of time to prevent it from violating the guidelines. Finally, the rollout began in November in the following countries: Poland, Bolivia, Colombia and Lithuania.
5. 3:3 due to (video/audio) (Group-) Calling on FB Messenger and WhatsApp
The preference for calling is clearly WhatsApp. The most important reason for this is the fact that WhatsApp calls (audio, video) work even with weak internet connections. In group conversations, the FB Messenger wins, also because with a maximum of 50 participants it allows more than WhatsApp, which supports just four participants in conducting a joint conversation via audio/video.
Update 10. Januar
We had already reported on the redesign at the end of last year. Now the global rollout of Messenger 4 has arrived to all users worldwide and the opinions on the new UI design diverge as expected. As with all major changes, some users are of course less enthusiastic about it.
From an objective point of view, Facebook consistently follows the path of simplifying usability with this update. With three instead of 9 Tabs, the design appears much cleaner and thus also creates easier access for discovering users and, above all, company accounts. Another consistent step on the part of Facebook to accelerate communication with companies via Messenger.
In addition, it serves to prepare the upcoming dark mode, which will also be available to all users in the coming months and above all serves to reduce power consumption when using the Messaging app.
Have a great idea for customer service via messaging apps and want to talk about it? Message us!