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Messenger Platform Update

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By Shankar Venkataraman, Messenger for Business Product Marketing Manager

Messenger Platform Team

The latest release of the Messenger Platform is here! This release includes Private Replies, User Level Persistent Menus and more. Here’s a quick summary of all that’s new:

Private Replies

We’ve made improvements to Private Replies. Private Replies used to only allow plain text to be sent. With this update, businesses can send images, templates and quick replies as part of messages sent in response to a post or comment on their Page.

Private Replies

Dynamic Persistent Menu and Composer

We’re making it easier than ever for businesses and developers to personalize conversations with their customers at the user level on Messenger. With this beta, apps will be able to dynamically change the persistent menu and the visibility of the composer, providing relevant menu options at different points in the customer’s journey. Developers and partners can sign up for this closed beta here.

URL Buttons Have App Link Support

We’re improving mobile integration capabilities in Messenger by introducing App Link Support for URL buttons. Now when people click URL buttons with the App Link metadata, it will enable developers and businesses to provide a button that will directly open the target native app.

Developer Opt-In to Changelog Notifications

Developers can now subscribe to email notifications for Messenger Changelog.

We’ve built these new features to make the Messenger experience more seamless and useful than ever for developers and businesses. We’re always innovating to provide you with the tools to build the absolute best experiences on Messenger.

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Upcoming Changes to the Messenger API

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As part of our efforts to update our messaging products in response to new privacy rules in Europe, we are making changes that will impact some developers and businesses using apps enabled by the Messenger API.

What’s changing?

Beginning December 16, 2020, several Messenger API features will no longer be available for developers and businesses in Europe, and for people in Europe who connect with businesses on Messenger and Instagram globally.

Examples of some features that will no longer be available via Messenger API include:

  • Persistent menu
  • One-Time Notification
  • Some templates (e.g. Airline, Receipt) and audio/video attachments
  • Some templates and buttons on web (e.g. Generic, Button)

These features will continue to be available:

  • Sending and receiving text messages and images
  • Get Started button
  • Ice breakers and quick replies
  • Generic template, button template, and media template on Android and iOS only
  • URL button, postback button, call button on Android and iOS only
  • Private replies, m.me links and the Message Us plugin
  • Webview
  • Handover Protocol for Messenger

Relatedly, developers that also use the Instagram Graph API will see some metrics are no longer available. You can see more details here.

What this means for developers

APIs and UI components of the Messenger platform listed above will be unavailable to businesses in Europe in all chats, and to global businesses in chats with people in Europe. Before these changes go live on December 16, we encourage developers to update their experiences that could be affected by these changes – such as those that power Pages in Europe or Pages that receive a significant volume of messages from people in Europe – to use available features instead. For more details on what is changing, please refer to the developer documentation.

We recognize that compliance requires changes to our product experiences, and we’re committed to supporting our partners throughout this process. We’re working hard to bring features back and will provide an update if and when these features are made available again in the future.

Facebook Developers

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ELI5: Docusaurus – Making Documentation Easy

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In this post, we will briefly talk about Docusaurus, a website building tool that makes it easy to develop, maintain and deploy a documentation site. If you prefer to learn about Docusaurus in a short video rather than a blog post, go to the Facebook Open Source YouTube channel to watch another episode of ELI5.

Why Docusaurus?

The top open source projects on GitHub have their own documentation sites that contain an overview of the project, short getting started guides, in-depth tutorials and project blogs. These resources are key to the success of any open source project, but building, managing and deploying them can be a lot of work. Unless you’re using Docusaurus.

Docusaurus is an open source project for building, deploying and maintaining websites. This project’s main goal is to get you started with your website in a matter of seconds. Beyond creating the site, Docusaurus emphasizes speed of both developer and end users by following the PRPL pattern and by relying on an incremental build for content changes.

Docusaurus allows developers to use tools they already know like Markdown or MDX to write documentation or blogs. With React as the backbone of Docusaurus, developers can customize their website to fit their use case.

This website building tool also comes with search and localization features. Projects built with Docusaurus leverage Algolia for a built in search engine and Crowdin for language support.

The cherry on top is that you don’t have to manually update your documentation every time you update your code. Docusaurus automatically syncs docs to project releases so that you can spend more of your time working on the things you care about.

Where is it used?

Docusaurus was first released to the public by the Facebook Open Source team in 2017. Since then, this project has been used by a large number of the Facebook open source projects and by over 100 external projects.

Where can I learn more?

Want to learn more about Docusaurus? You can find extensive documentation and tutorials covering a wide range of topics on building and customizing your site. If you want to engage with the community, feel free to join the Discord channel or talk to the team on Twitter.

If you want to see more content about Docusaurus, let us know on our YouTube channel, or by tweeting at us.

About the ELI5 series

In a series of short videos (~1 min in length), one of our Developer Advocates on the Facebook Open Source team explains a Facebook open source project in a way that is easy to understand and use.

We will write an accompanying blog post (like the one you’re reading right now) for each of these videos, which you can find on our YouTube channel.

To learn more about Facebook Open Source, visit our open source site, subscribe to our YouTube channel, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Facebook Developers

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2020 Developer Circles Community Challenge regional winners announced

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It’s often said that one of the best ways to learn is to become the teacher. That’s why, for this year’s Developer Circles Community Challenge, we invited developers and creators to put an innovative spin on technical education by creating tutorials that showcase the capabilities of Facebook technologies.

Participants created step-by-step written tutorials that demonstrated one or more features of open source tools including Hack, React, React Native, PyTorch and Docusaurus; as well as products including Messenger, Spark AR and Wit.ai.

For their efforts, we offered cash prizes, as well as the opportunity to have their tutorials credited and shared with fellow innovators across the Facebook ecosystem.

Our regional winners

As our first step in deciding the overall winners, we’re very excited to announce our regional winners today.

The teams behind the below inspiring tutorials have each won a US$2,000 cash prize, and will also be invited to make further enhancements to their projects by Monday November 30, in order to have a chance at the global prizes announced in mid-December.

Asia Pacific

Intermediate/ Advanced

Create Smarter Messenger Experiences on Facebook with Bright
Messenger, Wit.AI

Covid Center Bot (Intermediate)
Messenger, Wit.AI

It’s Now Winter — AR Pop-up Card Tutorial Series
Spark AR

Beginner

HayWord | Case Study for Making Real Word Chatbot Messenger
React, Messenger, Wit.AI

Spark AR Promo Card Filter Tutorial
Spark AR

IndoNLU: Finetuning Tutorial IndoBERT using PyTorch
PyTorch, Docusaurus

Europe

Intermediate/Advanced

How to make Smoke in Spark AR
Spark AR

Creating colliders with Scripting – Spark AR
Spark AR

DIY Alexa With the ESP32 and Wit.ai
Wit.AI

Beginner

Calendar buddy
React, Wit.AI

Spark AR – Audio Visualizer Tutorial
Spark AR

React Custom Animation Hooks Tutorial
React

India

Intermediate/ Advanced

Shockwave
Spark AR

Reactode
React

Transfer Learning Model hosted on Heroku using React & Flask
React, PyTorch

Beginner

ReactNative Tutor ( Learn React Native On the Go )
React Native

Making Conversational Android Apps with Wit.ai
Wit.AI

DevCoder
Wit.AI

Latin America

Intermediate/ Advanced

Updating the Authorization header with Observables
React

Use data from Facebook API in Messenger Bots
Messenger

Manipulating Multiple Scene Objects with Scripts in Spark AR
Spark AR

Beginner

Create a serverless Messenger bot with Wit.ai
Messenger, Wit.AI

Documenting with Docusaurus Version 2 for beginners
Docusaurus

Spark AR – Art Series
Spark AR

Middle East and North Africa

Intermediate/ Advanced

violence Detection in videos using CNN + LSTM
PyTorch

360 Tours
React

Beginner

Messenger Platform Tutorial (TDD Approach)
Messenger

Customer Service Messenger Bot
Messenger, Wit.ai

Build an Encryptor/Decryptor Chatbot on Messenger using Wit
Messenger, Wit.ai

North America

Intermediate/ Advanced

Your Claw Machine
Spark AR

Wit.ai CI and CLI
Wit.ai

Job Finder Bot tutorial
PyTorch

Beginner

Pneumonet-Building an AI COVID-19 Product with Pytorch
Messenger, Wit.ai

Chatbot for Class
React, Docusaurus

Getting Started with React Hooks: useState and useEffect
React

Sub-Saharan Africa

Intermediate/ Advanced

Rabbit Coder (Spark AR Tutorial)
Spark AR

Pytorch For Information Extraction
PyTorch

Architecting and Designing a React Native Application
React Native

Beginner

Wiki Education
Messenger, Wit.ai

Live Chess
React, Docusaurus

Fruit Classifier
PyTorch, Messenger

Our local language winners

In acknowledgment of our diverse, global community, we’re also pleased to offer a set of special local language prizes for the first time. The below winning tutorials have each won a US$1,500 prize.

Arabic

Intermediate/ Advanced

Violence Detection in videos
PyTorch

Beginner

Adding Drag & Drop to React components
React, Docusaurus

French

Intermediate/ Advanced

Systeme De Reconnaissance Du Cache Nez
PyTorch

Beginner

Learn the basics of Spark AR by creating your FanMask filter
Spark AR

Indonesian

Intermediate/ Advanced

Gameo
React, PyTorch, Docusaurus

Beginner

HayWord | Case Study for Making Real Word Messenger Apps
React, Messenger, Wit.ai

Spanish

Intermediate/ Advanced

Chatbots As A Service con Messenger Platform
Messenger

Beginner

Tutorial web voice control using Wit.ai
Wit.ai

New building opportunities coming soon

Congratulations to all of these trail-blazing winners, and to everyone who took part in the Challenge. Stay tuned to our Facebook Developer Circles page for more information on our global winners announcement in December!

We’ll also be hosting a range of challenges including hackathons, as well as product immersion opportunities, for developers and creators in 2021. Don’t forget to sign up for our email newsletter to be among the first to know about these initiatives.

Stay safe and we can’t wait to continue supporting you as you #BuildwithFacebook.

Facebook Developers

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