Facebook Chatbot: Things I wish I knew sooner

In this article, I put together some of the non-obvious things which I encountered while building and publishing my first Facebook bot. They are very simple, I wish I understood some of them sooner, so I could be more productive during the process.

Organizing links

Although it’s very tempting to jump right into building your first bot as soon as possible, and this is what Facebook encourages you to do with 10-minute start guide, Facebook Messenger platform is more powerful than you might think, take time to go through every page in the documentation, so that you understand your future bot’s full potential.


Facebook messenger platform is still in beta. Even though the documentation is very well written, I often find myself looping around docs and open one page after another until I end up with something like this.

If you’re like me, you will find this article helpful

Just save the links you need into your bookmarks bar. Here are some of the most useful pages.

Understanding ‘Edit Page Subscription Fields’

When I first saw ‘Edit Page Subscription Fields’, I didn’t realize what all the fields stand for, and I also didn’t get that there is explanation for that. Well, here it is. If you didn’t know what all of subscription meant either, you will after you read these docs. Simple.

messages maps to Message

messaging_optins — Plugin Opt-in

message_deliveries — Message Delivered

message_reads — Message Read

messaging_payments — Payment (beta)

messaging_pre_checkouts — Pre-Checkout Webhook

messaging_checkout_updates — Checkout Update

messaging_account_linking — Account Linking

messaging_referrals — Referral

message_echoes maps to Message Echo

It would be great if Facebook would update Edit page subscription fields with relevant links to documentation.

Testing

If you want to grant other people permission to test your chatbot, you should go to the app (not page!) dashboard and click Roles and then add testers.

How to add test users to your chatbot

Submitting bot for review

❗️Read Launching your bot and Facebook App Review Guidelines

When you just start creating your bot, only you and allowed testers can interact with it. After you’re ready to make your bot public you are to go through a certain process of review. It sounds scary but it’s very easy. I got my bots approved within 3 to 24 hours, even though you get following message when you submit (image below).

All you need is:

  • set profile picture for your app 1024x1024
  • link with Privacy Policy for your bot
  • examples for different use cases of your bot
  • description of your bot
  • screencast showing your bot’s interactions

Useful links: