Due to their efforts to comply with Europe and Japan’s privacy guidelines, Facebook will place restrictions on its usage of the Messenger API. These restrictions will apply for Europe from December 16th, 2020, and for Japan from April 14th, 2021. These changes will also impact the way Facebook DMs are handled within Freshchat. 

In this solution article, we will discuss more on

  1. What is causing these changes? 

  2. Who will be affected?

  3. How will Freshchat customers be affected?

What’s causing these changes? 

To comply with the privacy guidelines from Europe's evolving data privacy laws as well as the regulations under the Japan Telecom Business act, Facebook will be making changes to its Messenger API. Freshchat uses the Messenger API to send and receive messages between businesses and their customers. 

Facebook had earlier shared an update on its developer blog, which outlines various Messenger API usage restrictions. 

As explained by Facebook:

"As part of our efforts to comply with new privacy rules in Europe, we're making updates that will impact some developers and businesses that use our Messenger API. Beginning December 16th, several Messenger APIs will be unavailable for developers and businesses in Europe, and for people in Europe who connect with businesses globally."

Facebook has separately communicated that similar changes will come into effect for users in Japan, starting April 14th, 2021.

You can read the changelog announcement from Facebook here and their FAQ here

Who will be affected?

The Facebook Messenger API changes will impact all 27 European Union countries and Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, United Kingdom, and Japan. So, even if your Facebook page isn’t located in the EU or Japan, you might still be affected.

You will be affected by these changes if

  • Your Facebook page is located within the affected EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, United Kingdom, or Japan. 

  • One or more of your Facebook admins is located within the countries mentioned above.

  • Your customers are in any of the countries mentioned above.

How will Freshchat customers be affected? 

The following features/capabilities in Freshchat may be affected due to these API updates: 

Agent To User flow :

1. Media (audio, video, files) other than images/attachments on new messages won't render in the thread. Media/attachments on existing messages will still be visible.

2. Templates won’t render in the message thread. Templates in existing messages will still be visible, but users won’t be able to take any action on them.

3. Message Read and Message delivered statuses (double tick) on Freshchat agent portal will be impacted as Facebook will not be sending message read and delivered receipts.

4. Random names will be generated for end-users as User API is deprecated.

User To Agent flow impact :

1. Media/attachments - User can send attachments but will receive an error message letting them know that the business may not have received the attachment.

As a workaround, Freshchat agents can include a direct URL for any attachments except images (audio, video, files, etc.) in the chat instead of directly attaching them from Freshchat.

We will be updating this article with any further updates and suggestions. So, stay tuned for more updates on some of these limitations caused.

Please reach out to support@freshchat.com if you have more questions.