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Chatbots 101: Gathering Data via Facebook Messenger Chatbot ๐Ÿค–๐Ÿ“Š

Written by: Cezary Kuik

Edited and Translated by: Zuza ลšliwiล„ska

Chatbots are apps and just like any other app, they use API to get access to data. In few simple words – API is a kind of communication, which allows you to use functions or data shared inside your app by another app.

Messenger Chatbots use something called User Profile API. In this case, Facebook automatically shares some basic user profile with our app. These are the data one can use to personalize the chatbot-experience for the users.

And those are: username, Messenger ID, sex, timezone, location (country, based on the language version of your Messenger app), profile picture and the ref parameter.


Using non-default solutions, available in the Messenger ecosystem, like e.g. location share button, we can generate more sensitive data. For example: an address, postal code, city or geographical coordinates. As you can see below, different plugins allow to extract different kinds of data.


How does a chatbot gain access to Facebook data? ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ“ฒ

A chatbot can generate those basic Facebook data, when the user starts a conversation and that means:

๐Ÿ”ต In the Messenger app with the welcome screen and Get started button,

๐Ÿ”ต  From the fanpage via the Send message button,

๐Ÿ”ต In the Messenger via any voluntary message sent by the user

๐Ÿ”ต When clicking the template button or quick reply inside the Messenger

When one of the situations above takes place, chatbot gains access to the set of basic data weโ€™ve listed before.

It is also worth to mention cases, when a user starts the conversation with a chatbot, but it doesnโ€™t allow the bot to gather user-data. In these cases, user has to take one more step in order to confirm his/her permission – for example send another message or click one more button. It happens when the conversation starts via:

๐Ÿ”ต Messenger Business plugin on a website

๐Ÿ”ต Facebook Ad

๐Ÿ”ต Content shared by another user

๐Ÿ”ต Messenger extension

How does a chatbot gain access to those more sensitive data like location of a phone number? โ˜Ž๏ธ๐Ÿ“

Access to those data is based on specific decisions made by the user. These are supported with a dedicated CTA buttons.


Platforms like Chatfuel make the implementation process simple with special plugins allowing to gather the data, of course with user consent as a condition. It is important to keep in mind that not everyone shares their phone number on Facebook and most of the users you want to target signed up to Facebook a long time ago, so for example their e-mail addresses can already be obsolete or just out of use. Thatโ€™s why itโ€™s more optimal to use these QRs together with an option like โ€˜Itโ€™s not your email?โ€™ so that one can still type in their correct address.

Letโ€™s go through the process of sharing oneโ€™s localization, just so everyone knows how it works. So the user gets a special button, weโ€™ve shown you in the previous paragraph. As soon as he or she clicks on it, the process of gathering the specific geographical coordinates begins.


Then the map shows up, showing user’s exact location. If he or she wants to change it, because for example is running errands downtown and searches for a store closest to your house, not where he or she is at the moment, one can adjust it as wishes. After the user confirms the location, the message with it is sent to the chatbot automatically.

Itโ€™s very useful in case of searching for the closest store, car dealer or restaurant.

Non-standard user data ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ“ˆ

Platforms like Chatfuel also allow you to create your own attributes or parameters on users that become a key to gathering very unique data.

You can use any button or user input as a base for setting the parameter. For example, you make a quiz about skincare, where the user tells you what kind of problems she or he has with their skin, so that they can pick the right line of cosmetics. You can use those answers to create a personalized experience and further interaction with this users. It works just like custom audiences, but here, users choose their own attributes and do this completely voluntarily, which makes the whole process more organic and effective.

So with this custom audience mechanism you can send personalized messages in one-on-one communication model, but on mass scale. Sounds like a targeting heaven, right? ๐Ÿ˜‡


Each answer user gives us, can be a valuable piece of information. The key to success here is the ability to ask the right questions.

Messenger is one of a kind medium ๐Ÿš€๐Ÿ“ฒ 

A communicator creates an entirely different environment compared to Facebook or Instagram. While building a chatbot, you need to take care of all the gathered data on your own. When you figure out that you have a total control over the user experience, you discover how much data user gives you every step of the way.

Below you can find a list of data sources, which we can gather via chatbots, together with potential analysis ideas.

๐Ÿ”ต Messages sent to a chatbot (analysis of sentiment, quantitative and qualitative stylistics, all kinds of traditional KPIs and measures, e.g. the frequency of a given word or the maintenance of users),

๐Ÿ”ต Buttons clicked (open rate, click rate, retention data),

๐Ÿ”ต Webview (embedding all traditional tools, such as Google Analytics or Hotjar, requesting additional Facebook permissions, conversion rate from the button to display the website and many more).

Messenger Chatbot is a truly unique tool. While organic reach on both Facebook and Instagram crushed months ago, Messenger gives brands opportunities to interact with thousands of users in a fully direct communication style. Acquiring sales leads has never been so transparent and user-focused. Hit us up at to start your Messenger Chatbot journey!

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