Due to its efforts to comply with Europe’s privacy guidelines, Facebook will place restrictions on its usage of the Messenger API from December 16th, 2020. These changes will also impact the way Facebook DMs are handled within Freshdesk. 

In this solution article, we will discuss more on

  1. What is causing these changes? 
  2. Who will be affected?
  3. How will Freshdesk customers be affected?

What is causing these changes? 

To comply with the privacy guidelines from Europe's evolving data privacy laws, Facebook will be making changes to its Messenger API, which Freshdesk uses 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."

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

Who will be affected?

The Facebook Messenger API changes that come into effect from December 16th will impact all 27 European Union countries and Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and the United Kingdom. So, even if your Facebook page isn’t located in the EU, you might still be affected.

You will be affected by these changes if

  • Your Facebook page is located within the affected EU + four countries: 
  • One or more of your Facebook admins is located within one of the EU + four countries.
  • Your customers are in the EU + four countries.

How will this impact Freshdesk customers? 

The following features/capabilities in Freshdesk will be affected due to these API updates:

  • Incoming and Outgoing Messages: Freshdesk users who connect Facebook pages to manage Direct Messages will still send/receive messages. However, agents will not be able to send or receive or view attachments except for images (audio, video, files, etc.) on both incoming and outgoing tickets. Only text messages will be received or sent. 
  • Users associated with a Facebook page will no longer be visible under Admin > Channels > Facebook.
  • When your customer wants to attach media via Facebook messenger while raising a ticket, they will receive an error message from Facebook letting them know the business may not have received the attachment. 

How will this impact Freddy AI customers?

  • Incoming and Outgoing Messages: Freddy AI will still be able to send and receive messages as text. However, attachments except for images (audio, video, files, etc) on both incoming and outgoing tickets will not be available. 
  • Generic templates, button templates will not be rendered in the web browser or chat widgets. Users will see an error message letting them know that the attachment is unavailable
  • The persistent menu won't be shown in the conversation threads.  

Note: These API changes will impact only direct messages from Facebook messenger and will not affect posts, comments, etc that contain any attachments.  

As a workaround, Freshdesk agents can include a direct URL for any attachments except images (audio, video, files, etc.) within the ticket instead of attaching them.  

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

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