As you may have heard, there was an announcement this morning from Facebook that effectively puts a temporary pause on all new messenger-bot development while they review their policies.

I’ve done some testing/digging since the announcement and it seems these are the practical impacts for now:

  • if you don’t have a ManyChat account yet, you won’t be able to create one until the pause is lifted
  • if you do have an account, don’t log out or hit the Refresh Permissions buttonĀ or you won’t be able to log back in until the pause is lifted
  • any bots you have activated will be able to keep running throughout the pause period, and can also be edited and updated
That all sucks, but it is temporary.
I’m hoping that it will be quick, and I’ll keep you updated here. In the meantime, as with all Facebook announcements I’m sure we’ll hear some alarmists freaking out over the next few days.
I plan to ignore them, keep a close eye on the facts, and keep you all updated here.Messenger Automation is a big business already, and Facebook and others have invested a lot in making it possible, so there are some powerful people (e.g., the CEO of ManyChat) with more to lose than us in this, and they’ll be lobbying hard to keep the pause period as short as possible.
Personally, I think this is probably a pretty good move from Facebook. They’re taking some heat over their connection to Cambridge Analytica and the US election scandals and they presumably want to be seen as being careful with their user’s accounts and data.
Facebook already had clearly defined rules about how our bots need to behave, and I expect these to tighten up a little after the review. However, the good news is that the rules are designed to stop aggressive marketing approaches which don’t work for in-person, service-based businesses like photography studios anyway (just my opinion, obviously). So, there will be rule changes, but they’re unlikely to impact you or I in the long term.I don’t see this announcement as having any real impact on you or I except for an annoying delay in being able to launch your bots and implement what you learn in the course.
If you have any questions, please send me a message using the LiveChat link below and I can keep you updated.