On December 16th 2020 Facebook updated their Messenger API. These changes are designed to align Facebook’s messaging services with upcoming privacy rules in Europe, which are some of the strictest in the world. All of the 30 European Economic Area (EEA) countries, which includes the 27 EU member states, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and the UK will be affected and you should ensure you know how your future marketing will be affected.
Below are listed some of the changes and what this means in realty. We have checked several Chatbots we built for clients and found they are all impacted in some way.
If you are interested in the nitty gritty details of the changes, you can read more here.
The impact on you
This will impact bots in several ways and may result in full or partial failure of your Chatbot. The changes listed below are deemed critical as they will severely impact the usability of your Chatbot.
You will notice you no longer see a subscriber’s name, gender and other personal information.
How to fix this – You will need to specifically ask for the Chatbot users name, Facebook is no longer allowed to share that information from Facebook to Messenger. It will then be saved in Manychat and associated with that user. As for location, gender etc, if it is critical to your business, you will also need to ask for that information.
The Typing indicator feature has been removed. We used this to add a natural human-like flow to the conversations. These will no longer work and your Chatbot will just stop as soon as the conversation reaches one.
How to fix this – They will need to be removed and your conversational flows redesigned to ensure they still work for your customers.
Sending Messages with Buttons will now not work for mobile users. However, those talking through your Facebook Business Page or the Website Customer Chat widget will not be affected.
How to fix this – Our advice is to assume that everyone is coming via mobile and replace all message buttons with ‘Quick Replies”.
The persistent Menu will cease to be available. This is an under-used feature that we used with some clients to allow users to get quick access to business information or GDPR guidance.
How to fix this – Where there is important information help within the menu, replace this with ManyChats ‘Conversation Starters’, but only where this makes sense in the conversation.
One-Time Notifications have been removed. Although only released in the past 12 months, this has been removed.
How to fix this – If OTN’s are part of your flows, they should be removed or the conversation will not work, affecting the customer experience. Not sure if you have OTN’s, just ask us.
The only media you can share is images (including gifs). Audio and video are no longer an option.
How to fix this – For those businesses that rely on Messenger to deliver audio or video content, you should be exploring other ways of delivering that via email or links to that content. This is not difficult, but there are many options. Speak to us if you have any questions.
If you are a retained client of Jim Rowe-Bot Ltd, we will already be making the required changes to your Chatbot to enable it to function correctly and keep servicing your customers. For non-retained clients you have three options;
- Review your Chatbot and make all the required changes yourself, if they are needed.
- Ask us to review your Chatbot where we will then detail all the changes required to enable it to function as before. There is a one-off single payment to have this done of £90.00 for 10 flows or less or £180.00 for 11 flows or more. Not sure how many flows you have, just ask us.
- Remove your Chatbot and start handing all messages manually.