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Listening to our Community: Messenger Provides More Time to Adapt to New Policies and Announces One-time Notification API

December 20, 2019ByIgor Slutsker

Today, we are sharing a new effective date for the policy changes that we announced on August 29, 2019 to give developers and businesses additional time to prepare for the policies and incorporate new messaging features. The policy changes will now go into effect on March 4, 2020. Based off feedback from our community, we identified additional use cases aligned with our policy principles that were not covered under the original set of message tags. Thus, we are planning to introduce a “one-time notification” API in February. We are extending the effective date of the policy changes to give Messenger businesses and developers time to implement the new API before the new policies take effect.

Policy Principles and Updates

We designed our policies to help drive timely and personally relevant conversations between people and businesses — prioritizing conversations started by people and related follow-up communications. In an effort to be more transparent with our community, we want to share some of the guiding principles we used to make these policy updates and product changes:

  1. Conversations drive value for people and businesses: Messages a person receives from a business should deliver value for that person. Messages should be important, personally relevant and timely.
  2. Policies are simple, clear and easy to understand for developers and businesses: For instance, we simplified the number of message tags we offer to make it easier for developers and businesses to build valuable experiences on the platform.
  3. Policies help limit low quality experiences for people: The policy should help further limit spam, abuse and low quality experiences on the platform.

As a reminder, here’s a summary of the key changes we announced earlier this year.

  • Revised standard messaging window: Updated our standard messaging window to 24 hours since we know people expect businesses to respond quickly to their messages and - not surprisingly - businesses achieve better outcomes when they respond in a timely manner.
  • Streamlined message tags: We introduced four new message tags to to allow personalized 1:1 messages to people outside of the standard messaging window for four use cases including post-purchase updates, event reminders, account updates, and human agent (closed beta).
  • News messaging beta: Only news organizations who successfully register their Pages through the Facebook News Page index can apply to be a part of the news messaging beta (formerly subscription messaging beta). We introduced this change since some of the businesses were using subscription messaging in ways that weren’t in line with our policies.

One-time Notification API

We’ve received feedback from our community that some messages like price alerts, back in stock alerts, and tickets now available for sale, are valuable for people and businesses. That’s why we’re planning to launch a new API, which would support use cases where someone has explicitly requested to receive a one-time notification from a business - notifications that are time sensitive and personally relevant. We will be introducing this API in February.

The one-time notification API isn’t a replacement for subscriptions. Unlike subscriptions where a business can send multiple messages to people on a recurring basis, the one-time notification API limits the business to a single message per user request. If the person engages with the message, the standard messaging window will reopen.

How can businesses prepare for the policy changes?

  1. Review messages that are typically sent outside the 24 hour standard messaging window. Make sure those messaging use cases are supported by the message tags that were announced on August 29th.
  2. If you are using message tags, make sure you are using the new set of tags that we announced on August 29th. Messages tags should only be used for use cases that are allowed. Businesses should make sure the message is timely, important and relevant to the person. As a best practice, we recommend apps provide an option for people to opt-out of the notifications sent using the message tags and respect the person’s choice.
  3. If your page currently has subscription permission and you are a news organization, submit your application to be registered in the Facebook News Page Index.
  4. If you are interested in implementing the one-time notification API, you should identify (or work with your developer partner to identify) any use cases or existing flows where this API could be leveraged. That way you are ready when this new API is available in February.

Thank You to Our Community

As always, thanks to our developer ecosystem and business community for continuing to build experiences that provide true value to people and businesses. We continue to learn from your feedback and partnership and remain committed to supporting valuable use cases that make Messenger a great experience for everyone.