Facebook adds subscriptions to messenger bots

Facebook is trying to make Messenger bots more active, reports Marketing Land.

Facebook has announced that it is restricting how long Messenger bots have to respond to someone before they’re muzzled, but is relaxing its rule forbidding promotional messages. This seems to be Facebook’s way of pressuring companies to make their bots responsive.

A new 24 hour window is the pillar of these changes. Now a Messenger bot will only be able to message someone within 24 hours of that person interacting with the bot.

Messenger bots can now send promotional messages to people, such as “Hey, check out this sale”, but only within the 24 hours restriction.

However, the 24 hour window isn’t fully sealed. A bot will be able to send one follow up message after the window closes. This will reset each time a person interacts with a given Messenger bot, and it will be able to send a ‘template message’, such as sales receipts and flight notifications.

Not all bots will be held to the 24 hour restriction. Messenger bots that sends news, or track personal information will be able to send messages on a regular basis.

Users will have to sign up for subscriptions by messaging the bot, which is required to tell the user how often it will be sending messages. Unlike the non subscription message, subscription messages cannot be promotional.

Messenger bots will have until November this year to modify their bots to comply with Facebook’s new guidelines, and until February 2017 to apply for subscription based messaging access.

This new guideline should streamline the way brands use bots to interact with customers, as well as promote a more effective way of utilizing the technology.

A version of this appeared in Market Land on August 15. Read the full version here.

 

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