What Is Facebook Subscription Messaging?

The explanation starts with the 24+1 Facebook Messenger rule.

In the first 24 hours of a user opting in to messaging, you can send unlimited updates, promotional and non-promotional.

After 24 hours, you can send unlimited non-promotional updates and one promotional follow up. This is called the 24+1 Rule and what Facebook calls “standard messaging.”

When you create Facebook Messenger chat blasts, you pick a purpose of the blast. There are 17 messaging purposes, btw:

chat blast purpose

Promotional chat blasts are available to anyone, limited to the first 24 hours, plus one any time after.

You can also pay to send a promotional chat blasts any time via Facebook sponsored message ads.

Meanwhile non-promotional chat blasts are available to all businesses.

All of them … except for one: non-promotional subscription messages.

The non-promotional subscription message can be sent by businesses that have been approved by Facebook for subscription messaging.

Who Can Send Subscription Messaging Broadcasts in Facebook Messenger?

Facebook has an application and review process for Facebook Business Pages that would like to send subscription messages. Businesses receive subscription messaging permissions at the page-level.

page-level-facebook-subscription-messaging-permissions

If your page is approved for subscription messaging by Facebook, you’re free to send subscription chat blasts with your MergeMessenger bot.

Which leads us to …

How to Apply for Facebook Subscription Messaging in 2 Steps

The good news is that it doesn’t cost a business anything to apply for Facebook subscription messaging. And the application process is fairly short. I’ll show you how to apply for subscription messaging in 2 steps.

The trickier news is that Facebook has a review process for subscription messaging applications, and in our experience, it can take many applications before a page is approved.

You’ll want to take special care and pay close attention in putting together a thoughtful application. Follow these instructions to get approved for Facebook subscription messaging.

Step 1: Request Subscription Messaging in Facebook Page Settings 

From your Facebook Page, go to Settings:

subscription facebook

Go to Messenger Platform:

And from Advanced Messaging Features, request subscription messaging:

Step 2: Complete the Short 3-Part Application for Subscription Messaging

The subscription messaging request has three parts — pick a category, describe the nature of your chatbot, and give a couple examples.

The three categories to choose from are:

  • News
  • Productivity
  • Personal Tracking
subscription-messaging-request-bot-description

For the most part, MergeMessenger customers will choose News.

The other categories are too specific to generally apply. Business bots help customers through relevant updates and industry information.

In the details section, describe the information and updates services your chatbot provides, like blog updates.

For MergeMessenger we said something like “MergeMessenger chatbot sends periodic alerts on important marketing industry news.”

Then provide a couple of examples of the helpful news blasts sent by your chatbot:

subscription-messaging-request-bot-examples

MergeMessengers’s examples were something like:

“Alert: GDPR regulations come into effect in 24 hours. Check the website for details.”

“The American marketing association has released their annual state of the industry study. Check website for details.”

When your Page has been approved, you’ll see this notice under Advanced Messaging Features:

subscription-messaging-approved

Tips for Writing a Facebook Subscription Messaging Request

By applying for subscription messaging, you’re agreeing not to send promotional messages under the non-promotional blast purpose.

It is important that you not send promotional stuff outside of the 24+1 rule.

The way that Facebook checks is with machine learning. If you sending too much promotional stuff you’ll get reviewed.

How long does subscription messaging review take?

Because the subscription request is a manual review process, the amount of time to be approved varies. We’ve seen approvals completed within days, or take months.

What happens if you don’t apply for Facebook subscription messaging?

We recommend all our customers apply for subscription messaging to get permissions to send non-promotional and 24+1 promotional messages.

If you don’t apply, or aren’t approved, you have the option to send sponsored promotional messages. You’ll basically have to pay for every message you send.

Do you have to request subscription messaging for every Page?

Facebook is switching to page-level approval, so yes, requests must be made for each Page. Go into each Page’s settings to find the request form.

How can I tell if my chatbot is a “News,” “Productivity” or “Personal tracking” chatbot?

The Facebook for Developers documentation describes the different chatbot categories.

“Productivity” chatbots use integrations for managing personal productivity like calendar events and reminders.

“Personal Tracking” chatbots are more specifically tied to “personal trackers” that give updates on individuals’ health, wellness, fitness and finance.

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