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A Reminder to our Community: New Messenger platform policy changes take effect today to help drive more valuable conversations between people and businesses

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We want to remind our developer and business community that the Messenger platform policy changes will go into effect today to help ensure that conversations between people and businesses are as valuable for both parties as possible. We announced these changes on August 29, 2019 and extended the effective date on December 20, 2019.

How can businesses adapt to the policy changes?

Here are some simple steps that businesses can take to adapt to the policy changes:

  1. Review messages that are typically sent outside the 24 hour standard messaging window. Make sure those messaging use cases are supported by the new message tags that we announced on August 29th.
  2. If you are using message tags make sure you are using the new set of tags we announced on August 29th for four use cases including post-purchase updates, event reminders, account updates, and human agent (closed beta). Messages tags should only be used for use cases that are allowed. Make sure the message is timely, important and relevant to the person. As a best practice, we recommend providing an option for people to opt-out of the notifications sent using the message tags and respect the person’s choice.
  3. If your page currently has subscription permission (now known as News Messaging beta) and you are a news organization, submit your application to be registered in the Facebook News Page Index.
  4. If you are interested in implementing the one-time notification API we announced on February 4, 2020, identify (or work with your developer partner to identify) any use cases or existing flows where this API could be leveraged.
  5. We recently published Best Practices for businesses designing messaging experiences on Messenger to help businesses adapt to these policies. We recommend you review these and follow their guidance.
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Policy Principles and Updates

We designed our policies to help drive timely and personally relevant conversations between people and businesses — prioritizing conversations started by people and related follow-up communications. The following is a reminder of some of the guiding principles we used to make these policy updates:

  1. Conversations that drive value for people and businesses: Messages a person receives from a business should deliver value for that person. Messages should be important, personally relevant and timely.
  2. Policies are simple, clear and easy to understand for developers and businesses: For instance, we simplified the number of message tags we offer to make it easier for developers and businesses to build valuable experiences on the platform.
  3. Policies help limit low quality experiences for people: The policy should help further limit spam, abuse and low quality experiences on the platform.

As a reminder, here’s a summary of the key changes we announced last year.

  • Revised standard messaging window: Updated our standard messaging window to 24 hours since we know people expect businesses to respond quickly to their messages and, not surprisingly, businesses achieve better outcomes when they respond in a timely manner.
  • Streamlined message tags: We introduced four new message tags to to allow personalized 1:1 messages to people outside of the standard messaging window.
  • News Messaging beta: Only news organizations who successfully register their Pages through the Facebook News Page index can apply to be a part of the News Messaging beta (formerly subscription messaging beta). We introduced this change since some businesses were using subscription messaging in ways that weren’t in line with our policies.
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Thank You to Our Community

As always, thanks to our developer ecosystem and business community for continuing to build experiences that enable businesses and people to make closer, more valuable connections on Messenger. We continue to learn from your feedback and partnership and remain committed to supporting innovation that make Messenger a great experience for everyone.

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Updating Special Ad Audiences for housing, employment, and credit advertisers

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On June 21, 2022 we announced an important settlement with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that will change the way we deliver housing ads to people residing in the US. Specifically, we are building into our ads system a method designed to make sure the audience that ends up seeing a housing ad more closely reflects the eligible targeted audience for that ad.

As part of this agreement, we will also be sunsetting Special Ad Audiences, a tool that lets advertisers expand their audiences for ad sets related to housing. We are choosing to sunset this for employment and credit ads as well. In 2019, in addition to eliminating certain targeting options for housing, employment and credit ads, we introduced Special Ad Audiences as an alternative to Lookalike Audiences. But the field of fairness in machine learning is a dynamic and evolving one, and Special Ad Audiences was an early way to address concerns. Now, our focus will move to new approaches to improve fairness, including the method previously announced.

What’s happening: We’re removing the ability to create Special Ad Audiences via Ads Manager beginning on August 25, 2022.

Beginning October 12th, 2022, we will pause any remaining ad sets that contain Special Ad Audiences. These ad sets may be restarted once advertisers have removed any and all Special Ad Audiences from those ad sets. We are providing a two month window between preventing new Special Ad Audiences and pausing existing Special Ad Audiences to enable advertisers the time to adjust budgets and strategies as needed.

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For more details, please visit our Newsroom post.

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Impact to Advertisers using Marketing API on September 13, 2022

For advertisers and partners using the API listed below, the blocking of new Special Ad Audience creation will present a breaking change on all versions. Beginning August 15, 2022, developers can start to implement the code changes, and will have until September 13, 2022, when the non-versioning change occurs and prior values are deprecated. Refer below to the list of impacted endpoints related to this deprecation:

For reading audience:

  • endpoint gr:get:AdAccount/customaudiences
  • field operation_status

For adset creation:

  • endpoint gr:post:AdAccount/adsets
  • field subtype

For adset editing:

  • endpoint gr:post:AdCampaign
  • field subtype

For custom audience creation:

  • endpoint gr:post:AdAccount/customaudiences
  • field subtype

For custom audience editing:

  • endpoint gr:post:CustomAudience

Please refer to the developer documentation for further details to support code implementation.

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Introducing an Update to the Data Protection Assessment

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Over the coming year, some apps with access to certain types of user data on our platforms will be required to complete the annual Data Protection Assessment. We have made a number of improvements to this process since our launch last year, when we introduced our first iteration of the assessment.

The updated Data Protection Assessment will include a new developer experience that is enhanced through streamlined communications, direct support, and clear status updates. Today, we’re sharing what you can expect from these new updates and how you can best prepare for completing this important privacy requirement if your app is within scope.

If your app is in scope for the Data Protection Assessment, and you’re an app admin, you’ll receive an email and a message in your app’s Alert Inbox when it’s time to complete the annual assessment. You and your team of experts will then have 60 calendar days to complete the assessment. We’ve built a new platform that enhances the user experience of completing the Data Protection Assessment. These updates to the platform are based on learnings over the past year from our partnership with the developer community. When completing the assessment, you can expect:

  • Streamlined communication: All communications and required actions will be through the My Apps page. You’ll be notified of pending communications requiring your response via your Alerts Inbox, email, and notifications in the My Apps page.

    Note: Other programs may still communicate with you through the App Contact Email.

  • Available support: Ability to engage with Meta teams via the Support tool to seek clarification on the questions within the Data Protection Assessment prior to submission and help with any requests for more info, or to resolve violations.

    Note: To access this feature, you will need to add the app and app admins to your Business Manager. Please refer to those links for step-by-step guides.

  • Clear status updates: Easy to understand status and timeline indicators throughout the process in the App Dashboard, App Settings, and My Apps page.
  • Straightforward reviewer follow-ups: Streamlined experience for any follow-ups from our reviewers, all via developers.facebook.com.

We’ve included a brief video that provides a walkthrough of the experience you’ll have with the Data Protection Assessment:

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The Data Protection Assessment elevates the importance of data security and helps gain the trust of the billions of people who use our products and services around the world. That’s why we are committed to providing a seamless experience for our partners as you complete this important privacy requirement.

Here is what you can do now to prepare for the assessment:

  1. Make sure you are reachable: Update your developer or business account contact email and notification settings.
  2. Review the questions in the Data Protection Assessment and engage with your teams on how best to answer these questions. You may have to enlist the help of your legal and information security points of contact to answer some parts of the assessment.
  3. Review Meta Platform Terms and our Developer Policies.

We know that when people choose to share their data, we’re able to work with the developer community to safely deliver rich and relevant experiences that create value for people and businesses. It’s a privilege we share when people grant us access to their data, and it’s imperative that we protect that data in order to maintain and build upon their trust. This is why the Data Protection Assessment focuses on data use, data sharing and data security.

Data privacy is challenging and complex, and we’re dedicated to continuously improving the processes to safeguard user privacy on our platform. Thank you for partnering with us as we continue to build a safer, more sustainable platform.

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Resources for Completing App Store Data Practice Questionnaires for Apps That Include the Facebook or Audience Network SDK

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Resources for Completing App Store Data Practice Questionnaires for Apps That Include the Facebook or Audience Network SDK

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