Facebook Messenger Scan Codes Are Going To Stop Working Overnight

This is an in-depth article on one of the many changes that Facebook has announced coming to the Messenger platform August 15, 2019. To see our full overview on those changes you can do so here. 

Messenger scan codes - who really needs them? 

For personal profiles, you could access your own messenger scan code in app, which another user could scan with their camera in Messenger to connect with you instantly. 

For business profiles, you could use this tool to connect users directly to your page’s Messenger inbox. If you’re a user of ManyChat (or another bot building platform) then you could also have different Messenger scan codes lead into different conversation flows. 

All-in-all, this is a feature that so many companies and entrepreneurs fell in love with at first sight - It just seemed like a cool thing to do. But, it never really caught on and took a lot of time educating people on how to use the darn thing. 

The bad news

This feature is not going to appear differently or activate differently like some of the changes announced. It’s going to stop working.

Completely stop working. Kaput. Sayonara!

For the few industries and businesses that did achieve success with scan codes, they better start preparing now, rather than waiting until after August 15th, 2019 which is when Facebook is flipping the switch. 

Industries and businesses that seemed to have some success were:

  • Restaurants

  • Real estate

  • Coaches

  • Event-oriented companies

It’s not really worth going into the successful use cases on scan codes and these industries…because, it’s going to disappear overnight. 

Some people have implemented these codes on digital presentations, business cards, flyers, signs, t-shirts, event materials, and so much more. There is no easy way around it: It all has to be re-done. Nothing will scan these codes anymore.

If this is going to affect you, and your heart is racing a little bit at the daunting task of replacing your scan codes in circulation, take a second to catch your breath. 

Ready to find out how to deal with this quickly?

How to adapt to this drastic change

There are two solid ways to deal with scan codes becoming obsolete. Unfortunately, none of them save you some extra work.

1. Using Link Shorteners

At Automated Dreams, we used to have scan codes on our materials a few months back including business cards just because we thought it was novel and cool to do. Our codes would scan and activate a flow to book a call with our team. Did it work very well? No.

So instead, we replaced it with a shortened link - bit.ly/dreamteamcall. Yes, people need to manually type a URL in. However, 99.9% of people these days know how to do that without any sort of explanation. 

If you’re a user of ManyChat, then you’re familiar with the REF URL Growth Tool, which allows you to generate a link that, when clicked, will activate a particular conversation flow. That’s the link you’d want to shorten.

This is a better alternative

#1 You don’t have to educate your users on how to use it; and #2 It takes up less space that would have been used for a larger scan code and instructions on how to use it.

Also, if you use a free tool like bit.ly to do this, you get access to a lot more in-depth analytics. 

2. Replace Scan Codes with QR Codes

Alright, if you’re adamant about sticking with a solution that allows your users to scan a code of sorts, you can easily replace them with QR codes.

Did you know that QR codes were first created by Toyota in 1994?! That was news to me.

Using the same REF URL Growth Tool I mentioned above (or if you have another sort of bot building platform, you probably know this by a different name) you can generate a QR code that redirects to a conversation flow of your choice.

And there are endless websites you can find to generate QR codes for free. The functionality of replacing your codes with QR codes will be just like it was for Messenger scan codes. Exactly like it. 

Messenger’s camera can scan QR codes, however, there was no clear indication if this ability would disappear along with their native scan codes. In any case, iPhone cameras natively scan these codes with a long press over the code, and some android cameras have the same exact functionality. 

This option is second best; I say this only because I’d argue that a significantly higher amount of people know how to type in a URL vs. how to scan a QR code.

It could be worse

Well, not really…

If you fall into the group of people that were or are currently having success with Messenger scan codes, you’ll need to completely re-do all of the materials that have them, or just deal with it not working any more. 

I guess it could be worse if there were no alternatives, but luckily I just gave you two. And #1 is a better option than Messenger scan codes ever were.

Remember, these changes are immediately taking place on August 15th, 2019. Be proactive and start changing things NOW.

If you wait until after the change takes place and you have these in circulation, you’re likely to get a significant amount of customer-support inquiries. 

If you think that your audience and friend group needs to hear about these changes, please do share this article! Its unavoidable that many people will be caught off guard by this change, so spread the word to your people!


About Automated Dreams

We are a Business Automation firm based out of Portland, Oregon.

Our team specializes in the discovery and uncovering of your business goals, processes, and systems. We’ll help you streamline them through: Strategy, mapping, implementation, maintenance, and helping you dream bigger.

At Automated Dreams, we’ve got 3 ManyChat Messenger Marketing Experts on our Bot Team — try and find another company that can say that!

We treat Facebook Messenger as an extension of your business and not a one-off tool. If you ever need help aligning your Messenger Marketing with the rest of your business systems & processes, you know where to find us!

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