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Facebook Messenger API changes for Europe

As part of their continuing efforts to comply with new privacy rules in Europe, Facebook will be making updates to the Messenger platform that will impact some developers and developer partners including Sparkcentral, and businesses using our apps enabled by the Messenger API.

Update: December 2nd 13:15 CET

Facebook has informed us that the following features will keep working after all:

  • Sending and Receiving Image attachments through the API will keep working as currently.
  • Native responses (outside of Sparkcentral) will show up in our conversation history.


This would mean that only profile information (such as the name of the Facebook user and avatar) is not available in Sparkcentral. We are investigating a potential workaround to bring this back.

Update: December 1st 11:00 CET

What’s changing?

Starting from December 16th 2020, several Messenger API features will no longer be available for businesses in Europe, and for people in Europe who connect with businesses globally.

Impacted countries

These changes will impact some APIs and UI components  for the following audience:

  • Europe pages in all chats
  • Pages with admins in Europe in all chats
  • Any chats with people in Europe

All of the 30 European Economic Area (EEA) countries, which includes:

  • All 27 European Union member states
  • Norway
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • United Kingdom

What does this mean for you?

No more inbound/outbound attachments and profile information

The Messenger API changes will cause the following features to stop working when customers are sending you private messages:

  • You customers can no longer send messages that contain files or images.
  • As a brand, you can no longer send files to customers.
  • The profile information, such as the customer name and profile picture, will no longer be available in Sparkcentral.
  • Native responses (outside of Sparkcentral) will no longer show up in our conversation history.

 

What will still work after these updates?

  • Private messages containing only text/emojis.
  • Quick replies that show buttons as part of the conversation (often used in combination with chatbots).
  • A public message (e.g. a response to a Facebook post) with an attachment. The changes to the Messenger API only affect private messages.

What we recommend to minimize the impact of these changes

Facebook has informed us of these changes to provide you with specific guidance and implement appropriate mitigation measures. Here are our suggestions to keep your workflow efficient and your customer experience effortless.

1. Solve missing profile information ✅

To make conversations easier, we will generate a random name for customers for whom we cannot retrieve the profile information.

Use our autoresponder at the beginning of a new conversation. Collect all the necessary information and save it in your contact attributes. Asking for this information only needs to be done once. As soon as these contact attributes are filled, our autoresponder will skip these first questions automatically.

2. Provide alternatives for private messages with attachments ✅

Our conversation history will now show failed attempts of customers who tried to send you an attachment. This way, you can provide your customers with alternative ways to send you their information.

3. Sending attachments to customers in private messages ✅

Since we will be unable to deliver attachments as part of a conversation, we will now automatically generate a link to the attachment. Your customers can just click on the link to open the attachment.

We’re here to help! 

Our partners at Facebook understand that this is inconvenient in busy times as today and they are working hard to bring these features back and will provide us with updates on their progress in the near future. 

We’ll keep you up to date about all these upcoming updates and provide you with detailed information and recommendations.

If you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact your customer success manager or support at support@sparkcentral.com.

Thank you for your continued partnership.

Your Sparkcentral Team

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