Messenger Platform Policy Overview

August 29th, 2019 Announcement

The Messenger Platform’s policies are designed to help people and businesses connect in ways that drive meaningful outcomes. At the heart of this is the understanding that people and businesses need a seamless, reliable way to get something done - whether it is getting a question answered, making a purchase, or communicating important and relevant updates.

On August 29, 2019, we announced updates to the platform policies designed to make communication between people and businesses on Messenger relevant, important and timely. Developers are highly encouraged to start adopting these policies right away. See below for more details.

The Messenger Platform’s policies are designed to help people and businesses connect effectively through Messenger to achieve meaningful outcomes. At the heart of this is the understanding that people and businesses need a seamless, reliable way to get something done - whether it is getting a question answered, making a purchase, or communicating important and relevant updates. We know people expect businesses to respond quickly, and businesses who respond to users messages faster see better business outcomes. The policies are designed to encourage businesses and developers to:

  1. Respond to customers in a timely fashion when they reach out
  2. Share important updates that are personally relevant to their customers

Contents

Overview of New Platform Policy (Applies starting January 15, 2020)

Here is an overview of our standard messaging, message tag, and subscription messaging policies that will apply starting January 15, 2020. For complete details on applicable policies, please see the Facebook Platform Policy.

  • Standard Messaging - Businesses will have up to 24 hours to respond to a user. Messages sent within the 24 hour window may contain promotional content. We know people expect businesses to respond quickly, and businesses that respond to users in a timely manner achieve better outcomes. We highly encourage businesses to respond to people’s messages as soon as possible. The +1 message that allowed businesses to send 1 additional message after the 24 hour window will no longer be available starting Jan 15, 2020. This change aligns with people’s expectations of faster responses from businesses.

  • Message Tags - Enable businesses to send important and personally relevant 1:1 updates to users outside the 24 hour Standard messaging window. We are simplifying message tags by reducing the number of tags from 17 to 4 to support certain use cases. Businesses can start using these 4 new messaging tags right away. The new message tags include a Human Agent tag (in Closed Beta) that allow businesses to manually respond to user messages within a 7 day period. Learn more here.

  • Subscription messaging - Only Pages that are registered with the Facebook News Page Index (NPI) will be allowed to send non-promotional subscription messages. We highly encourage relevant pages to submit their application immediately to register with the News Page Index to allow sufficient time for review and approval before the new policies go into effect.

  • Sponsored messages - Sponsored messages allow businesses to send promotional content outside the standard messaging window. Sponsored messages are subject to ads integrity controls and the auction dynamics, which work to protect the user experience and ensure the volume of promotional messages is consistent with user expectations.

New Standard Messaging

Here is an overview of the Standard Messaging policy that will be in effect from January 15, 2020.

Businesses will have up to 24 hours to respond to a user. Messages sent within the 24 hour window may contain promotional content. Users have the option to block or mute a conversation with a business at any time.

Here are examples of the user actions that open the 24 hour Standard Messaging window:

  • User sends a message to the Page
  • User clicks a call-to-action button like Get Started within a Messenger conversation
  • User clicks on a Click-to-Messenger ad and then starts a conversation with the Page
  • User starts a conversation with a Page via a plugin, such as Send to Messenger plugin or the Checkbox plugin.
  • User clicks on an m.me link with a ref parameter on an existing thread
  • User posts or comments on a Page. See Private Replies
  • User reacts to a message. See Replies and Reactions

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

New Message Tags

On August 29th, 2019 we announced updates to Message Tags on the Messenger Platform. The newly introduced tags are now available. The current message tags will be supported until January 15, 2020.

Message tags enable sending important and personally relevant updates to users outside the 24-hour Standard messaging window, for a set of approved use cases. For complete details on allowed use cases, see the list of supported Message Tags. Use of tags outside of approved use cases may result in restrictions on your ability to send messages.

New Subscription Messaging

On August 29th, 2019 we announced that, effective January 15, 2020, only Pages registered via the News Page Index (NPI) are allowed to send subscription messages.

Subscription messages allow news publishers to send regular news updates to their subscribers in Messenger. This feature is only available for registered news Pages under the Facebook News Page Index (NPI). Registered news Pages may opt in to use the subscription messaging to send messages outside the 24-hour standard messaging window in Page settings. Pages registered with the News Page Index don’t need to apply for subscription permission.

Subscription messaging apply to news content only, and must not be used for promotional content, including but not limited to subscription offers, deals, coupons, discounts or content produced by or that promotes a third party (e.g., branded content, affiliate marketing). To send subscription messages, NPI registered pages need to use the non-promotional subscription message tag. To learn more, see subscription messaging.

Sponsored messages allow businesses to reengage with people who have an open conversation with their Page in Messenger. Sponsored messages can be sent outside the 24 hour standard messaging window and can include both promotional and non-promotional content. Sponsored messages are subject to the integrity controls and user caps, which work to protect the user experience and ensure the volume of promotional messages is consistent with user expectations. Sponsored messages are annotated in the conversation with the word 'Sponsored' above the message.

Sponsored message content must comply with all other Messenger Platform policies and Facebook advertising policies.

For more information on sending sponsored messages, see Sponsored messages

Policy Violation Notifications

Any time a Page is restricted from sending messages 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.

To access the Page Support Inbox, click 'Page Support Inbox' the left sidebar of your Page settings:

Overview of Current Platform Policy (Available until January 15th, 2020)

The following is an overview of policies that are in effect for Messenger Platform integrations until January 15, 2020. For complete details, also see the Facebook Platform Policy. On January 15, 2020 the policy changes announced on August 29, 2019 and described above will go into effect. New apps and Pages may continue to apply for the subscription permission under the current platform policy until January 15, 2020. We encourage all apps and Pages to migrate to the new policy to avoid any service disruption.

Migrating to the new policy

Comparison between Current vs New Policy

Policy Current Policy (Until January 15, 2020) New Policy

24-hour window - Standard Messaging

  • 24 hours after customer's interaction
  • Can be promotional
  • Free

Stays as is

+1 Message

  • A single message
  • Can be promotional
  • Free

Not Available

Subscription Messaging

  • 3 Non-Promotional use cases only
  • Non Promotional
  • Free
  • For News Pages only (NPI Index)
  • Non Promotional
  • Free

Message Tags (link)

  • Can be sent outside the 24 hour window
  • 16 Supported use cases
  • Non Promotional
  • Free
  • Can be sent outside the 24 hour window
  • 3 Supported use cases (mostly merges the previous 16)
  • New Human Support use case added (Beta)
  • Non Promotional
  • Free

Sponsored Messaging

  • Reach existing Page audience
  • Can be promotional
  • Paid

Stays as is

Current 24+1 Policy (Available until January 15, 2020)

On August 29th, 2019 we announced updates to the policy to remove the “+1” of the 24+1 Policy starting January 15, 2020.

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. 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 Message 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.

Current Subscription Messaging (Available until January 15, 2020)

On August 29, 2019 we announced that, effective January 15, 2020, we will no longer support subscription messaging for pages that are not registered and approved as News Publishers via the News Page Index (NPI). We encourage relevant Pages to apply for NPI sooner to allow sufficient time for review and approval.

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. A user may opt-out of receiving subscription messages from a Page at any time.

Required Permissions

To send subscription messages, the Page admin must submit their bot for review in Page settings. Once a Page is approved, any app subscribed to the Page may send subscription messages on the Page's behalf using the Send API's NON_PROMOTIONAL_SUBSCRIPTION message tag to anyone that begins a conversation with the Page.

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.
  • 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.

Applying to Send Subscription Messages

Page admins may access the subscription messaging request form by doing the following:

  1. Go to Page Settings > Advanced Messaging
  2. Under 'Subscription Messaging' in the 'Requested Features' section, click the 'Request' button.

In the form, the Page admin will be asked to provide the following:

  • Which of the three eligible subscription messaging use cases apply to the Page.
  • A sample message and a brief description of how the bot will use subscription messaging.
  • Examples of subscription messages that your Page will send.
  • A confirmation that the Page won't use subscription messaging to send advertisements or promotional messages and will abide by all Facebook Platform policies and community standards.

Current Message Tags (Available until January 15, 2020)

On August 29th, 2019 we announced changes to message tags. We are simplifying message tags by reducing the number of tags from 17 tags to 4. Plus a new use human agent tag in Beta. The new tags are available from the moment of the announcement. The current tags listed on this section will no longer be supported on January 15, 2020.

Message tags give you the ability to send messages to a person outside of the normally allowed 24-hour window for a limited number of purposes that require continual notifications or updates. This enables greater flexibility in how your bot interacts with people, as well as the types of experiences you can build on the Messenger Platform.

A message tag may only be used for its intended purpose. For complete details on allowed use cases, see the list of supported Messenger message tags.