Facebook has announced that it is now expanding the test of its Messenger broadcast feature, making it available to a very limited amount of Pages in three countries.
Back in December, we reported that Facebook was testing a feature internally allowing businesses to broadcast automated messages to the users on the platform, as long as they had already initiated conversations with the business in question. Early reports of the test showed that businesses are able to create their own welcome messages containing text, video, or images, and add a list of suggested replies to them.
As we explained at the time, the Messenger broadcast feature isn’t a bot, but it acts like one – at least in terms of its conversational skills.
Now, the feature is available to “a very small percentage of eligible small business pages” in three seemingly random countries: The United States, Mexico, and Thailand. We also now know more about its name: Broadcast Composer. The Pages part of the test will only be able to broadcast messages to segments of those who messaged them in the past, or all of them. Also, there will be a monthly cap on how many messages can be sent per month.
The feature has been built with small and medium-sized businesses in mind, with a Facebook spokesperson explaining that it got “feedback from [businesses] that they don’t have the know-how or the tech resources to build experiences on the Messenger Platform (bots) that would enable them to reach their entire audience” Broadcast Composer allows them to do this.
Ensuring that only those who have interacted with a business on Messenger previously, will have messages sent to them, is a great relief. We all know that it could get totally out of hand otherwise.