What Is the Messenger Chatbot's 24 Hour Rule?

The Messenger Chatbot 24 hour rule is a Facebook rule requiring a new message from an advertiser to be sent within 24 hours of the previous message. That can be limiting for businesses which require consistent follow up with the customer (which may be over a couple of days) – How should a business handle this professionally? 

According to Statista, as of April 2021, there are 1.3 billion users utilizing Facebook Messenger. Whether it be to chat with friends, family, or businesses the explosion of ‘chat-based’ applications have completely revolutionized our lives. Gone are the days of phone calls, only to be replaced with short text messaging blurbs that can be sent almost instantaneously, completely revolutionizing our communications.

Facebook’s #1 goal is to have an amazing user experience. With that user experience, Facebook aims to keep the user on the platform as long as possible. Ultimately translating into more money for Facebook.

The 24 hour rule is a rule set by Facebook that only allows Messenger Chatbots to send a user messages within 24 hours of the last interaction. This means that if the user has not interacted or started a conversation with your bot, you would not be allowed to send a message to the user past 24 hours.

What constitutes as an interaction?

  • user sending page a new message
  • user clicking a button
  • user clicking on a quick reply
  • user opting in through a growth tool
  • user tapping on ‘get started’
  • user entering through a sponsored post/fb ad

Every time a user does the above, your 24 hour window is ‘effectively reset’. You’re given a ‘new 24 hours’ since that interaction to reach out to the user with any number of messages you so desire. Essentially, it’s important to make your flows in messenger act as a two-way conversation – where there’s back and forth between the user and your bot. When possible, encourage your user to tap on buttons or give their inputs.

What are some ways around the 24 hour rule?

They’re multiple, spanning from sponsored messages, message tags, one-time notification requests (OTNRs), email and SMS.

We’ll go over sponsored messages first.

How can sponsored messages reset my 24 hours?

A sponsored message is a paid message that allows you to reach your users outside of 24 hours. The goal of this sponsored message is NOT to sell anything, but to get the user to re-engage with the bot to re-open your 24.

There are however, some limitations to the sponsored messages. As of now, we’re typically seeing a successful send rate of 30 – 50%.

To put it simply, this means that if you were to do a sponsored message broadcast to a list of 100 people, only 30 to 50 people would receive it. This is because Facebook limits the number of sponsored messages a user can receive in A DAY to one, so that they don’t get spammed with these types of messages. After all, if you think about it, users come to Facebook to mindlessly scroll/interact with friends and family, and not to get messages from businesses.

This is indeed a bottleneck and one of the downsides of sponsored messages.

When sending a sponsored message, consider sending something open ended and piques curiosity like ‘Hey Gwen, it’s Taco Tuesday! Want to know a Taco fact?’ instead of the typical ‘Get 20% if you tap on button below’

Once the user responds with the quick reply/button you’ve set up, that’s essentially your golden ticket to send them any amount of messages.

How can message tags reset my 24 hours?

Okay, this is something you do not want to mess around with.

Facebook’s extremely strict with these, and if they find you abusing these tags, your page will get pulled, and potentially blocked from sending messages (abuse at your own risk).

Facebook personally defines these as “personally relevant 1:1 updatees outside the standard messaging window. I’m sure I don’t have to say this, but it means that you’re not going to be using these tags if they’re not relevant to the user in question (no shit right?).

The 4 are as of follows:
– Confirmed Event Update
– Post Purchase Update
– Account Update
– Human Agent

It’s best hearing from the horse’s mouth, so I’ve linked a Facebook dev article on what they consider compliant/non compliant.

What about your personal take on it?

Take note that this is not meant to be fully comprehensive. It’s PURPOSELY formatted in a way that’s SHORT AND EASY to understand/digest. I still ultimately recommend going through the full dev article. Promise it won’t take more than 10 minutes.

Confirmed Event Update
When a user has signed up for a webinar or event, you’re allowed to reach out to them with reminders when the webinar/event is about to happen.

Post Purchase Update
When a user bought an item from you and you’re reaching out with updates like the product has shipped, their receipt.etc

The two above are the more commonly used ones (ie. the ones you’d be using 99% of the time)

Account Update
To notify a user of a change in status with their account

Human Agent
To allow your customer support team to respond to user inquiries within 7 days of user inquiry

Moving on…

How can one-time notification requests (OTNRs) reset my 24 hours?

Think of one-time notification requests like an arcade token. One token gets you one life (message) and it’s not reusable.

Furthermore, this token is unique. This means that if you ask the user for a OTNR to inform them when hoodies are back in stock, you CANNOT use that token to ping users about your new watch collection.

You can collect as many OTNRs as you like, but do try to be as detailed as possible in your explanation on why you’re collecting an OTNR.

Same rule of thumb goes with OTNRs – use them to get a user to engage and re-open your 24. You’re free to do what you like after.

How can email/SMS reset my 24 hours?

There is no such thing as the 24 hour rule in email/SMS.

On top of tapping on the power of omni channel marketing, using email/SMS to bring users back into the Messenger funnel is a powerful way to reopen the 24 hour window.

If you’ve collected the email/phone # of your users (which you should by the way), you’re able to use ManyChat to send emails/SMS with a clickable link which brings the user back into Messenger.

Then, you’re able to send as many messages to your users on Messenger within your newly opened 24, so fire away.

Whilst the Messenger 24 hour rule is necessary, it isn’t hard to follow.

The general rule of thumb is simple – aim to make your Messenger Chatbot experience a 2-way street. Train your users to respond when you send your messages, and get other avenues to reach them on such as OTNRs, emails and phone numbers. That way, you’ll have a multi faceted approach to re-engage the user on multiple platforms, instead of becoming overly reliant on one.

And that wraps it up for what the 24 hour rule is all about. 

If you’ve any questions, feel free to fire them my way by dropping me an email at sean[at]ecomscaler[dot]com.

Looking into implementing a Messenger Chatbot for your business? Feel free to hop onto a 30 minute non obligation call with me, where we can brainstorm ideas you’re free to run with here.

All the best,