Business Messaging over Facebook is one of the most powerful tools a company can use to get engaged with their audience, users, or customers. However, every business wants to follow the rules and protect the status of their Facebook page. In this post, we will discuss what the Facebook 24+1 rule and Facebook Messenger policy, in general, affect the way we interact with our Facebook Page Messaging Connections.
The details we discuss in this post regarding Facebook Messenger rules can be found below:
- Facebook 24+1 Rule: Opt-In
- Facebook 24+1 Rule: The Timer
- Facebook 24+1 Rule: After 24 Hours
- Facebook 24+1 Rule: Is It In Effect?
What is Facebook’s 24+1 Rule?
As the developer of Facebook Messenger software and the provider of messaging services to Facebook users, Facebook has the responsibility of maintaining a user-friendly environment on their platform. It may not be a moral responsibility, but allowing the Facebook Messenger environment to degrade would mean losing users to other popular messaging apps.
Facebook’s 24 hour Rule, also known as the Facebook 24+1 rule is a Facebook Messenger policy designed to facilitate an acceptable environment for Facebook Messenger users when they chat with a Facebook page. In this article, we will discuss the Facebook 24+1 rule in the context of businesses messaging Facebook messenger users.
In short, the Facebook 24+1 rule is designed to facilitate business to user communication but prevent spamming. A Facebook page cannot be used to message a Facebook Messenger user first, but after the Facebook Messenger user messages a Facebook page, any message is fair game, right? Wrong. The Facebook 24+1 rule is designed to stop this from happening.
How Does The Facebook 24+1 Rule Work?
To understand the Facebook 24+1 Rule and how it is designed to work together with Facebook Messenger policy, you'll need to consider three things: user messaging opt-in, the types of messages Facebook pages are allowed to send to users and how the 24-hour timer works.
Facebook 24+1 Rule: Opt In
The most important thing to understand is that the Facebook Messenger user must send the first message. A Facebook page cannot send the first message to a Facebook Messenger user. This is a key tenet of Facebook Messenger policy.
It is natural to believe that a user liking or following your Facebook page should entitle you to send them a private message. This is not the case according to Facebook Messenger policy. The user will need to message your page. Once they've sent you that message, they have opted-in officially and become a Facebook Page Messaging Connection.
Thankfully Facebook offers a multitude of different ways to encourage Facebook Messenger users to message your Facebook page. We'll list four below.
1. Add a Send Message Button To Your Facebook Page
If you have a lot of Facebook Page followers, the quickest and most obvious thing to do is to add a Send Message button to your Facebook page.
Once you add a Send Messages button to your Facebook page, you'll be much more likely to convert Facebook page follow into Facebook Messenger contacts entirely passively.
2. Respond to Facebook Page Comments
This one is a little bit more work, but it will also do the job of converting your Facebook Page followers to Facebook Page Messaging Connections. Whenever, someone comments on one of your Facebook Page posts, you can send them a private message.
Now I know what you're thinking. Once they comment on a post on your Facebook page, you can message them, and they automatically opt-in. Not quite. Although you can send them one private message, they will have to respond to it before they fulfill the opt-in criteria according to the Facebook Messenger policy.
The good news is by using Rocketbots you can automate the process of sending a message to every person who comments on your post.
3. Use The Facebook Customer Chat Plugin
Let's say you don't have a lot of Facebook Page followers, but you have a fantastic website with tons of traffic. Can you convert those into Facebook Page Messaging Connections? Yes.
By installing the Facebook Chat Plugin on your website, you'll be able to convert a very high percentage of users that visit your site into Facebook Page Messaging Connections. Use this together with Facebook Inbox, and you have a free live chat system.
4. Use Facebook Send To Messenger Ads
Don't have any Facebook Page Followers or any website traffic? No sweat. There is always one tried and true strategy to generate more messaging connections for your Facebook page. Ads. Using Facebook Send to Messenger Ads allows you to use a Facebook Messenger conversation as a landing page.
Rather than building a landing page on your website, or sending users who click on your ad to your Facebook page, you can send them straight into a Facebook Messenger conversation. All you need to do is set up the first message that is sent to them, as long as they respond to that message, they will become a Facebook Page Messaging Connection.
Now that you've got a few strategies at hand for helping users opt-in and become a Facebook Page Messaging Connection, let's discuss 24-hour timer.
Facebook 24+1 Rule: The Timer
Interestingly even though the 24-hour rule is supposed to be one of the most important provisions of the Facebook Messenger policy, there is no physical timer. Apparently, you are just supposed to keep time in your head?
The way the timer works is very simple. Every time the Facebook Messenger user sends you a message, the timer is restarted for another 24 hours. During these 24 hours, a Facebook page can message the user without limitation. What happens after the 24 hours? This is where the +1 comes in.
Let's say you are using your Facebook Chat Plugin for customer support, and a user reports an issue. You can try to resolve the issue within 24 hours, but that is not always the case. Luckily, the +1 portion of the Facebook 24+1 policy lets you send one additional message after the 24 hours is up. You can use this extra message to let the user know the issue is resolved and to message you for more info.
What happens when you want to send the user a message, and you've already used your one additional message? This is where things get a little complicated.
The Facebook 24+1 Rule: After 24 Hours
You would think the 24+1 Rule is solid and there is no way to send a message after 24 hours, right? Wrong. It's more complicated than that. Facebook allows you to send messages directly to any of your Facebook Page Messaging Connections at any time as long as it fits into one of these categories:
- Community Alert
- Event Attendee Reminder
- Pairing Update
- Application Update
- Account Update
- Payment Update
- Personal Finance Update
- Shipping Update
- Shipping Update
- Reservation Update
- Issue Resolution
- Appointment Update
- Game Event
- Transportation Update
- Feature Functionality Update
- Ticket Update
If the message you want to send fits into one of these categories, there is no limitation to when you can send it. The idea is that as long as your messages are non-promotional, you should be able to send them anyways.
If you're messaging doesn't fit into any of these categories, but it's still non-promotional you can still send those messages. You'll need to get approved for Facebook Page Subscription Messaging Permissions though.
If your message is promotional, you can use Sponsored Messaging.
Does this sound complicated? It does. Let's simplify everything.
The Facebook 24+1 Rule: Is It In Effect?
As far as we can tell the Facebook 24+1 rule is not in effect. On several versions of its API, Facebook has listed a start date for this rule. These dates have already passed.
As far as we can tell the Facebook 24+1 rule does not exist as a technical limitation anywhere. It's just a rule on paper. Whether you are using pages Inbox or sending your Facebook Page Messaging Connections messages via API using something like Rocketbots, Facebook doesn't seem to block any messages.
The Facebook 24+1 Rule is not technically in effect, now that we've got that clear let's discuss how to keep your Facebook page safe from bans. After all, just because Facebook is not stopping you technically, that doesn't mean they won't penalize you.
How To Avoid Getting Your Facebook Page Banned
If Facebook is not blocking messages from being sent based on the Facebook 24+1 rule, how are they enforcing Facebook Messenger policy? The answer is simple. If your Facebook Page Messaging Connection Block Rate goes above a certain percentage, they may temporarily suspend your Facebook page or block you from sending messages.
The best way to avoid having your Facebook page suspended is monitoring your Facebook Page Messaging Connection Block Rate.
Checking Your Facebook Page Connections Block Rate
To check your Facebook Page Messaging Connection Block Rate navigate to your Facebook page > Insights > Messages.
In our experience, you will rarely experience any blocks if you are messaging your Facebook Page Messaging Connections for customer service. However, if you engage in Facebook Messenger broadcasts using Rocketbots or some other service, you can check your block rate and reported rate to get an idea of how users react to your broadcasts.
By checking out your New Blocked Connections, and your New Reported Connections about 24 hours after you send a broadcast you'll be able to get a good idea of the kind of broadcasts that cause your users to block you.
There is some disagreement on what is a high or low block rate; generally, 1-2% is good, 3-5% is above average, and 6-8% is high. 6-8% is the range where we've heard that Facebook puts limitations on what you can do with your page.
Her is what you can do to keep your Facebook Page Messaging Connection Block Rate down while continuing Facebook Broadcasts.
Facebook Broadcast Best Practices
Of course, an essential thing to do to reduce your block rate is to stop sending broadcasts to users who say unsubscribe. This is another tenet of the Facebook Messenger policy.
That is something you only do after the fact, though. The best way to keep your block rate down is to avoid sending spammy broadcasts. Don't do your broadcasts too often and make sure they are not too spammy.
Here are seven tips we've written about in our article about keeping your Facebook Messenger Open Rates high:
- Let users choose which messaging app they receive broadcasts on
- Make sure users consent to updates
- Use the right frequency
- Use proper formatting
- Use short links
- Track click rates to optimize broadcasts over time
- Keep it information based
If you like this article and you would like to learn more about business messaging over Facebook and other messaging apps, here are some articles you will enjoy: