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Meta Announces ‘Recurring Notifications’ for Business Messaging, a Significant Shift in its Platform Approach

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Meta Announces 'Recurring Notifications' for Business Messaging, a Significant Shift in its Platform Approach

This is an unusual switch up in Meta’s business messaging rules.

This week, at its first-ever ‘Conversations’ messaging conference, Meta announced ‘Recurring Notifications’ on its Messenger Platform, which will enable businesses to send ‘proactive, automated messages, to people who have opted in to receiving them’.

As you can see here, businesses will soon be able to send recurring notifications to users that opt in, with the upfront prompts outlining the frequency of messages that they’ll likely receive if they choose to get them.

Businesses will be able to send sales notifications, updates, newsletters – pretty much whatever they like, with the frequency options ranging from daily to monthly, ‘so businesses can reach customers at any moment in their journey’.

Which is pretty much the exact opposite of how Meta has run its messaging platform this far, with strict limits on how many times a business can message users, even if they’ve opted in.

As explained by Hootsuite:

“Businesses can only contact someone after receiving a message from them first. Once you’ve received a message, you have 24 hours to reply. After that, Facebook used to let businesses send one message. But as of March 4th, 2020, that option will be gone. Beyond that, the only remaining option is to send a Sponsored Message. These ads can only be sent to existing conversations.”

Indeed, in Meta’s Messenger Platform and IG Messaging API Policy Overview, it explains that:

Businesses will have up to 24 hours to respond to a user. Messages sent within the 24 hour window may contain promotional content.”

Brands can then use its ‘One-time Notification’, which enables businesses to send one follow-up message after the 24-hour messaging window has ended. But Meta has been very careful about allowing businesses to potentially overuse its messaging API, for fear of them spamming their device to notifications hell, through random promotions and alerts that could quickly become very annoying.

It seems that Meta is no longer as concerned about this, and with users having to opt in, with a clear overview of how many messages they can expect if they do, that looks like it’s now enough for Meta to be fine with letting brands unleash in your DMs, if you allow them.

And there’s good reason for this – money.

“Recurring Notifications is a new, optional premium feature that we intend to charge businesses for in the future. It is currently available to all businesses using Messenger Platform as part of a free trial period. We currently charge businesses to send messages from the WhatsApp Business API and we’re listening to customer feedback to guide decisions on our pricing model.

After struggling to find an adequate means to monetize its messaging platforms, Meta seems to have settled on charging businesses to use its messaging tools – though when it will start charging, and how much it will cost to use such, is still not clear.

Meta’s keeping this all in-house for now, in the hopes that brands will start using these new business messaging features, and build a reliance on them, before it brings in costs. Once businesses are getting results from these features, it will be harder for them to say no, and Meta could bring in a lot more revenue from its messaging platforms, very quickly.

This is a key focus for developing markets, where WhatsApp, in particular, is already a key connection platform. If Meta can get more businesses even more reliant on WhatsApp, with new business tools like this, and its new WhatsApp Cloud API, that will bring in a whole new range of brands that will need to keep paying Meta to support their business initiatives.

Meta’s keeping the timing under wraps because it doesn’t know when it will see optimal take-up of these new options, but it likely has a threshold in place for when it pushes the button and rolls out charges for the various elements.

It’s the old honey trap technique – lure businesses in with offerings they can’t refuse, then increase the costs, when they’re already stuck in the trap.

And it could work, with these new options providing valuable functionality that will help many businesses build on its messaging platforms.

But it’s interesting to note the shift in ethos here, and how Meta will bend its own rules if it sees benefit.

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Parler Announces That it’s Terminated its Acquisition Deal with Kanye West

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Kanye West is Buying Conservative Social Media Platform Parler to Voice His Unfiltered Opinions

Kanye West will not follow in Elon Musk’s footsteps and buy his own social media platform, with Parler confirming today that it has ended negotiations with West on a possible sale of the app.

The reasoning behind the decision is not clear, but West has continued to share his controversial opinions in various media opportunities of late, which has resulted in him losing a range of sponsor and partnership deals, and has decimated his net worth.

Axios has reported that West’s financial situation, as a result of these impacts, has played at least some role in the dissolution of the Parler deal.

West originally announced his intention to acquire Parler back in October, saying at the time that he needed to buy his own platform in order to share his unfiltered opinions with the world.

People had talked about it and mentioned this idea for years, but enough was enough.”

In the weeks leading up to that announcement, West had been suspended from both Instagram and Twitter after deliberately pushing his limits on both by sharing offensive, anti-Semitic remarks. That then led West to Parler, and with Elon Musk moving to take over at Twitter, West saw an opportunity to also play a part in what he saw as a broader shift towards allowing more free and open speech.

But now, West is moving on – though he will continue with his 2024 Presidential run, apparently.

West has also seemingly pinned his hopes on Musk for a future reformation of social media moderation rules.

At least, I think that’s what this means.

The announcement leaves Parler in a less than certain predicament, as it continues its efforts to develop a more sustainable business model in order to maintain operation as a free speech platform.

In the wake of the Capitol Riots, Parler was almost killed off entirely when both Apple and Google removed the app from their respective stores due its lax moderation policies, which they said had allowed too many posts that encouraged violence and crime. Amazon then also refused to host Parler on its web-hosting service due to repeated violations of its rules.

Parler was eventually able to save itself by rolling out additional moderation rules, in alignment with the requirements of each platform, which subsequently caused a level of angst among its core user base. Parler has since been found to be censoring certain posts, and removing certain users, which has prompted further criticism of the app, and with Elon taking over at Twitter, and promising a more open approach to what can be shared via tweet, it seems like Parler’s days could indeed be numbered, especially if Musk is able to implement a significant change in Twitter’s approach.

Which will also be challenging. Just as Parler had to change its moderation approach in line with app store policies, Twitter will also have to maintain its processes on the same, which could impede Musk’s push to enable more free and open speech in the app.

Elon’s looking to challenge this, but again, there will always be a level of moderation required, which will likely always exceed what free speech advocates would prefer, given evolving rules in Europe and other regions.

And for Kanye, it seems like his ambitions for owning his own social platform are now shelved, at least for the time being.



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