Messenger Platform Policy Overview

Read this to understand and ensure your compliance with the messaging policies for the Messenger Platform. For complete details, also see the Messenger Platform section of the Facebook Platform Policy.

Contents

Compliance Timeline

As of November 14th, 2016, new policies are in effect for use of the Send/Receive API are in effect for standard messaging and subscription messaging. All businesses and developers using the Send/Receive API should now be in compliance with the updated policies.

As of February 13th, 2017, businesses and developers are required to be approved for permission to send subscription messages under the new policies. If you have not already submitted your new integration or re-submitted your existing integration for approval, you are encouraged to do so immediately.

Messenger Conversation Entry Points

For a business to begin a conversation with a person on Messenger, the conversation must be started via one of the following entry points. Once a conversation is started, the messaging policy that applies to the conversation varies based on the message type. For more information on message types, see Standard Messaging and Subscription Messaging below.

  • Person sends a message to a business.
  • Person starts a conversation with the business via a call-to-action button within a Messenger conversation, such as a share attribution.
  • Person starts a conversation with a business via a plugin, such as the Send to Messenger plugin, checkbox plugin, etc.
  • Person starts a conversation with a business via an ad with an app_destination set to MESSENGER.
  • Business uses the Customer Matching API to match an existing customer via phone number and name to a person on Messenger. The bot must have the pages_messaging_phone_number permission to begin a conversation in this way.

Standard Messaging

The following is an overview of policies that apply to Messenger Platform integrations that use standard messaging. For complete policy details, see the Messenger Platform section of the Facebook Platform Policy.

24-Hour Messaging Window

Businesses and developers using the Send API have up to 24 hours to respond to a message sent by a person in Messenger when using standard messaging. A bot may also send one additional message after the 24-hour time limit has expired. The 24-hour limit is refreshed each time a person responds to a business through one of the eligible actions listed in Messenger Conversation Entry Points. This is commonly referred to as the '24 + 1 policy'.

For information on how you may be able to send messages outside the 24-hour messaging window, see the Tags documentation, and Sponsored Messages.

Usage Guidelines

The following guidelines apply to usage of the Send/Receive API for standard messaging:

  • Integrations that provide live chat support are also subject to the 24-hour messaging window.
  • Promotional content is allowed for standard messaging. Note that promotional content is not allowed for subscription messaging.
  • For a business or developer to send a message to a person on Messenger, the person must initiate contact first. Examples of how contact is initiated include the person tapping the “Get Started” button in the welcome screen, tapping a "Send to Messenger" plugin, sending a message, etc.
  • People continue to have the option to block or mute a conversation with a business or developer at any time.

Subscription Messaging (BETA)

Subscription messaging is allowed for specific use cases, and gives a business or developer the ability to send regular content to a person on Messenger. To send subscription messaging, the developer must apply for the bot to be granted the pages_messaging_subscriptions permission. If the bot has the pages_messaging_subscriptions app permission, a person automatically opts-in to receive subscription messaging when they perform any action that begins a conversation.

Eligible Use Cases

  • News: Integrations whose primary purpose is to inform people about recent or important events, or provide information in categories such as sports, finance, business, real estate, weather, traffic, politics, government, non-profit organizations, religion, celebrities, and entertainment.
  • Productivity: Integrations whose primary purpose is to enable people to manage their personal productivity with tasks, such as managing calendar events, receiving reminders, and paying bills.
  • Personal trackers: Integrations that enable people to receive and monitor information about themselves in categories such as fitness, health, wellness, and finance.

Usage Guidelines

The following guidelines apply to usage of the Send/Receive API for subscription messaging:

Subscription messages may not contain promotional content
  • Subscription content may be sent outside of the 24-hour messaging window that applies to standard messaging.
  • The recipient must opt-in to subscription messaging.
  • Subscription messages will have limited functionality compared to standard messages.
  • Subscription messages cannot contain promotional content.
  • Subscription messaging is only intended for specific use cases. Businesses and developers will need to indicate which use case their experience falls under when they submit their Messenger Platform integration.
  • If a user responds to a subscription message via an eligible action, the conversation will be considered standard messaging and must comply with standard messaging policies.

Sponsored messaging is a form of paid advertisement sent via the Facebook Marketing API, which allows you to re-engage people who have previously started conversations with you in Messenger and who have not blocked your bot. Sponsored messaging is specifically for the purpose of sending paid messages that are outside of the 24-hour standard messaging window, and/or not allowed under subscription messaging due to containing content that is promotional in nature.

Sponsored messages may include non-promotional and promotional content that complies with all other Messenger Platform policies and Facebook advertising policies. Sponsored messages are annotated in the conversation with the word 'Sponsored' above the message.

For more information on sending sponsored messages, see Sponsored Messages

Comparison of Message Types

Acceptable Use

Standard Messaging Subscription Messaging (BETA) Sponsored Messaging

Messages can be sent during a 24-hour window that resets any time the person sends a message to the business. One additional bonus message may be sent outside of the 24-hour window to follow up on the conversation. For more, see 24-hour Messaging Window.


Businesses may also use sponsored messaging to send a message to a person outside the 24-hour window if the person has not blocked the business.

No advertising, solicitations, marketing, or promotional content of any kind. For complete details, see Subscription Messaging - Eligible Use Cases above.

Messages may contain promotional content and be sent outside the 24-hour standard messaging window. For more information on sponsored messaging, see Sponsored Messaging above.

Required App Permissions

The bot must be granted the following permissions to send messages with the Messenger Platform:

Standard Messaging Subscription Messaging (BETA) Sponsored Messaging

pages_messaging

  • pages_messaging_subscriptions
  • pages_messaging

pages_messaging

Policy Violation Notifications

Any time a bot is restricted for Platform Policy reasons, the page will receive an explanation of the Policy violation in an email sent to the Page Support Inbox for the app. To ask questions about a policy violation notification, respond to this email and one our our Policy team members will respond.