Facebook has announced that it's killing off Messenger Codes, meaning that if you're utilizing them in your marketing approach, you'll need to update your strategy.
As shared on the Facebook Developer website (and displayed above):
"Starting August 15 2019, The Messenger camera will no longer support scanning Messenger Codes. Instead, we recommend businesses take advantage of the phone’s native capabilities to scan QR codes with m.me links as a lightweight, efficient solution."
Right now, you're able to generate and scan Messenger Codes in the app, a unique image which opens up a new connection sequence.
If a user opens Messenger on their phone and scans the unique code, a business can set up a welcome message like this:
This is all changing - soon, instead of using their proprietary Messenger Codes, Facebook will fall back on traditional (and kinda unsightly) QR codes.
Why is Facebook killing off Messenger Codes?
All we can do is speculate, because Facebook hasn’t come right out and explained why they made this move, but some answers seem obvious.
First, most phones automatically scan QR codes, but most don’t automatically detect and scan Messenger Codes.
To open the Messenger scan code reader, it requires at least four taps. Who has time for four taps?
And, honestly, not a lot of people even know about Messenger Codes.
Facebook has its own native QR reader anyway (who knew?) - you can open it by searching for “QR reader” within the Facebook app.
In general, this move is about ease, simplicity, and giving in to what’s already standard - QR codes.
Besides, since Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram messaging are being integrated, it makes sense to ditch a proprietary scan feature of just one of those apps.
And Facebook itself has admitted:
“QR codes with m.me links [are] a lightweight, efficient solution.”
In other words, QR codes are more simpler and more efficient.
So, au revoir Scan codes and bonjour QR codes.
Messenger Marketing and Scan Codes: What you need to do
There’s absolutely no reason to lose it over the departure of scan codes - we still have powerful chatbots, and we have QR codes. By combining the two, we’re still at 100% Facebook Messenger marketing power.
Every Messenger sequence you create has a unique Messenger URL. When you send people to that URL - using a QR code of course - you can accomplish the same thing as a Messenger code.
And there’s an upside: More people are likely to scan a QR code than a Messenger code.
Let me give you an example - the URL for MobileMonkey in Messenger is this:
Pro tip: The URL for any individual and Facebook Business Page is https://www.messenger.com/t/ PLUS their name or Business name followed by a forward slash.
So, for me, Larry Kim, it’s https://www.messenger.com/t/mr.larry.kim
For Facebook Messenger, it’s https://www.messenger.com/t/messenger/
I can take my Messenger URL and paste it into a QR code creator. For this example, I’ll use QR Code Generator.
Open the QR code creator of your choice, and paste in your Messenger URL.
Next, I’ll generate the code image. I click “Create QR code” in the generator tool above, and here’s what I get:
I went ahead and scanned that code with my iPhone’s native camera. Not to go all Inception on you, but here’s what it looks like:
Since I also have Messenger installed on my phone (who doesn’t?), it gives me the option to open that Messenger link in the Messenger app.
And, when I do that, boom, the bot sequence begins.
Messenger Scan codes are dead, but who cares?
As noted, there’s zero reason for panic and hysteria in the streets.
Yes, the Messenger Codes are about to kick the bucket, but we’re not losing marketing power. Every Messenger sequence has its own URL, and every URL can be turned into a QR code.
As long as you’re creating chatbots, you have all you need for high-octane power marketing with Facebook Messenger.
A version of this post was first published on the MobileMonkey blog.