Deploy to Facebook Messenger: Enabling subscription messaging

What is subscription messaging?

Facebook Messenger works hard to minimize their users' exposure to excessive messaging. One strategy they use is to prevent you from contacting users unless they've contacted you within the last 24 hours. To Facebook, that's a reliable indication that the user wants a response of some kind, and a reasonable amount of time for you to fulfill whatever request they had.

There are, however, a variety of reasons a page might want to contact a user outside this 24 hour window. For instance, you may wish to notify the user of a change in your company's hours, remind the user of an upcoming event, or just wish them happy birthday. Facebook categorizes these out-of-window messages as subscription messaging, and requires a separate set of authorizations if you wish to use them.

Why are authorizations suddenly required?

Starting on July 31st, 2019, every page on Facebook that wants to take advantage of subscription messaging must apply and be approved for the privilege. Before this date, subscription messaging authorization was associated with your messaging application (Dexter) instead. Essentially, Facebook used to rely on the application to take responsibility for the content it sent, and now it's shifting that responsibility over to the pages that use the applications.

How do I apply for subscription messaging authorization?

To start, make sure you're logged into Facebook and looking your page (you are an admin for that page, right?)

First, click through to your page's settings:

Step 1: Click through to your settings

Then to Messenger platform:

Step 2: Choose Messenger platform

Jump to the Advanced messaging features block:

Step 3: Advanced messaging

Finally, choose the Subscription messaging option and submit for review:

Step 4: Fill out the form

You'll have to wait for Facebook to review and approve your application. The time this takes is highly variable, so be sure to submit the form well in advance of any mandatory broadcasting dates you might have!