How to Verify Facebook Messenger Newsletters via Chatbot
Facebook set March 4th, 2020 as the deadline to set up and verify your Facebook Messenger Newsletter! Otherwise, your newsletter distribution will be deactivated. Why?
Because the authorization for sending messages to subscribers will change from the App level (Bots) to a Site level. In this article, we’ll explain exactly how you can verify your Facebook Messenger Newsletter.
Update September 25th, 2019
On August 29th, Facebook adjusted their policies and usage guidelines for subscription messaging. It was previously possible for Facebook Pages in most branches to register and be able to send newsletters and broadcasts with non-promotional content, but the current update limits this feature to only news sites.
As of March 4th, 2020 free broadcast message distribution will only be allowed for sites that are registered in the News Page Index. Registered news pages can then choose to use subscription messages to send messages outside of the standard 24-hour response window by activating this option in the site settings. Pages that are registered in the News Page Index don’t have to send in any additional permission requests for broadcasting.
Administrators with access to a Facebook page in the Business Manager should see the option “News pages” in the tab “Registrations” in the Business Page Settings. Here you can initiate the news site registration process by categorizing yourself as news media, if your business model fits the registration guidelines.
For large media sites, the process should be unproblematic. For brands and companies, however, it will be extremely difficult to register as a news site, because Facebook wants to control and raise the quality of subscription messaging to fight against fake news and strengthen their monetization possibilities. This decision is a logical consequence of many companies using Facebook Messenger for unnuanced mass communication, sometimes with promotional content.
This move towards more qualitative 11 dialogue via Facebook Messenger again shows the push towards the use of messaging apps for service-oriented communication in which the user initiates the contact. In our article From Push to Pull: the Future of Messenger Marketing, you can find out how this can be useful and profitable for your company.
Pages and companies not in the News Page Index can use the advertising function Sponsored Messaging to get a user’s attention outside of the 24 hour response window or to reach a user with promotional content. The cost per sponsored message varies depending on factors such as target group size, advertising competition, etc. You can also only contact users who have started a conversation with your company in the past, and who haven’t interacted with your brand via Messenger for more than 24 hours.
If you’re interested in sending push content outside of Facebook Messenger, we recommend our article describing possible alternatives.
Facebook Messenger Newsletter
Subscriber messaging allows companies to use Facebook Messenger to consistently send content to their users. However, it’s important to note that only non-promotional content can be distributed.
Messages with promotional or advertising content have to be sent over the fee-based Facebook ad format “Sponsored Messages.” A user can unsubscribe to subscribed messages at any time.
To send newsletter messages, site administrators have to file their Bot or newsletter with Facebook for review. A form for this purpose can be found on your Facebook site under Site Settings/Messenger Platform. After this process is completed and your newsletter is confirmed, you can use your Facebook site to send messages to anyone who initiates the first contact. For MessengerPeople customers, this usually happens when the user writes the activation word, “start.”
If you use our platform to send your Facebook Messenger newsletters, we ask you to request the approval for sending subscription messages through your Facebook company profile. You can find out exactly how to do this later in this article. As soon as Facebook has approved your request, you can send us newsletters via the blue messenger as usual.
According to the Facebook Developer post about subscription messaging, the requirements have deliberately been more narrowly defined. Examples of acceptable usage of subscription messages are shown in the scenarios below:
- Messages: Integrations with the primary purpose of informing subscribers about new or important events, or information about sports, finance, business, real estate, weather, traffic, politics, government, non-profits, religion, celebrities, and entertainment.
- Productivity: Integrations with the primary purpose of helping users manage their productivity by assigning and administrating tasks. Examples here include managing calendar events, receiving reminders, and paying bills.
- Personal Tracking:Integrations that allow people to gather and track personal information about their fitness, health, wellness, finances, etc.
Essentially, this simply means that subscription messages can not include advertising content.
Since Facebook, as opposed to WhatsApp, scans all sent messages by default, site aministrators should absolutely follow the set regulations. Since there are other, pre-existing conditions for this type of message, Facebook’s motivations are fully reasonable.
Conditions and Specifications for Subscription Messaging
- Subscription content can be sent outside of the 24-hour time window that restricts standard messaging.
- The recipient must have actively chosen to activate subscription messaging.
- Cannot include promotional content.
- When a user answers a subscription message, then the following conversation will be counted as standard messaging.
Applying to Send Subscription Messages
As a site administrator, you will find the application form in your site settings under messenger platform.
Towards the middle, you will see the area „Advanced Messaging Settings“.
By clicking on „request,“ a form will open, with questions about the type of subscription, the distribution frequency, and example content.
We recommend offering 3-4 different examples of potential content, in order to clearly show that your newsletter is focused on news, etc.
UPDATE 29th of November 2018: Uploading a Screencast that shows how users can begin a conversation with your Chatbot is not required any longer.
Important: For MessengerPeople customers, it’s suggested to use the Facebook standard dialogue „Get started“ and to send a welcome message after this activation code.
The Facebook review process can take a few days. If your newsletter is approved, you‘ll see a green check mark in the subscription messaging area.
3 Take Aways
- Subscription messaging via Facebook is only available for non-promotional content!
- The Bot verification process can take a few days, because the Chatbot is manually checked by Facebook employees.
- MessengerPeople customers are recommended to turn off their subscription confirmation dialogue (if it’s not in English, which is the Facebook review team’s main language) and to use the standard dialogue from Facebook.
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