Facebook has reviewed Messenger’s policy concerning subscription and promotional messaging. The standalone instant messaging platform will now allow brands and chatbots to send promotional messages to subscribed users according to the new rules. The older policies did not allow chatbots or brands to share promotional content on the chat service.
From now, Facebook allows subscription-based and promotional messages via Messenger. Thus, opening ways for brands and businesses to advertise their products on Messenger. However, Facebook will assert some measure of control.
As explained by Seth Rosenberg, Facebook Product manager, the extent to which the brands can engage users will be defined. First, the user and not the business will initiate the conversation. S/he also has the full authority to mute or block the brand at will. For the promotional chatbots, the conversation must be initiated by the user as well. The chatbots must reply to the queries within 24 hours after which only one message can be sent to the user. Subscription messages, however, will not play under the 24-hour rule.
Businesses and developers already using chatbots on Messenger have been given three months to comply with the new rules which came into effect on Monday. They will also submit a report after six months explaining their experience with the service. On the other hand, brands and developers who want to start using the service must submit a 6-month framework for their bots so as to ensure users are not flooded with spammy messages. Facebook will then take five days to review the new chatbots.
Facebook Messenger is the planet’s second most used messaging client after the phenomenal WhatsApp. As at last month, the chat service had over one billion monthly active users. In April at the F8 conference, Facebook announced the integration of bots on Messenger. Since then, different companies have made over 18,000 bots for the platform including 1-800-Flowers, HP and CNN. However, then they were no allowed to pass ads via the platform. Slackening the policy will even lure more developers and brands to build more chatbots for the popular client.
Change of policy a start for Messenger monetization
Earlier reports claimed Facebook was planning to monetize its standalone apps-WhatsApp and Messenger. Now, it is clearer what the social media behemoth is up to with the Messenger. Reportedly, the company plans to transform the app into an app store and monetizing the chat service is basically the first step in the process.
Chatbots could present Facebook with a viable opportunity to make money just like Google and Apple do with Play Store and App Store. A report compiled by BI Intelligence is in full agreement with the statement. As per the study, Facebook could possibly generate up to $32 billion from chatbots in revenue per annum if monetization of Messenger can be done successfully.
Chatbots key to business in future
Chatbot economy is growing so fast and is fueled by advancements in Artificial Intelligence coupled with the rise in popularity of messaging apps. The intelligent programs which use messaging as an interface can actually do everything from booking a flight, reporting the weather, and scheduling conferences to ordering pizza.