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Announcing Private Page Messages with Zendesk for Facebook

Steven Yan
posted this on July 09, 2012 01:12

You can now configure your Facebook Pages in Zendesk to track and respond to private Messages sent to the Page by your Facebook users.  This new capability has a number of advantages:

  • Customers can confidently contact you with specific information about a product or service, such as account information, that should not be shared publicly.
  • Agents can have a one-on-one conversation with the user without other Facebook user responses being included in the conversation.

Setting up Page Messages in Zendesk

If you already use Zendesk to monitor Facebook Wall Posts, do the following:

As an administrator in Zendesk:

  1. Navigate to Settings > Channels > Facebook
  2. Click edit next to your Facebook Page
  3. You will need to request a new permission from the Facebook Page in order to access your Page's message inbox.  Click Add permission now! to enable this permission.
  4. Click Yes next to Include private messages and click Update Page settings.

Getting started with Page Messages

When a Facebook user views your Facebook Page, they should be able to see the Message button on your Page:



If you do not see this on your Page, your Facebook Page administrator must enable it under Manage > Edit Page > Messages > Show "Message" button in your Page settings:


Your Facebook user can click Message to send your Page a private Message which can only be seen by the user and your Facebook Page administrators:


Your Facebook Page administrator can see this Message on the Facebook Page and respond:


This capability of Facebook Pages makes it very easy for your Facebook users to contact your business privately.  However you may want to share these messages within your organization or assign a team to respond to these requests.  Using Zendesk, this entire conversation can be managed along with the rest of your support requests as a ticket, allowing you to escalate the conversation to the right personnel and maintain a history of interaction with each customer, no matter how they have reached out to you.

Using Page Messages with Zendesk

Receiving Page Messages in Zendesk

For each Facebook Page that you have configured to capture Page Messages in Zendesk, Zendesk will create a new ticket from the initial Page Message and set the Facebook user as the ticket requester.  All messages from the requester are added to the ticket as separate comments.


Furthermore, if you have a Page administrator who is responding to users directly from the Facebook Page, these messages are also added to the ticket.  In this example, MondoCam's first response was added from within Facebook, but Zendesk still captures the whole conversation.

Responding to Page Messages

As with our Wall post integration, you can respond to the requester by making a public comment on the ticket.  If you would like to make a public comment but not have it sent to Facebook, you can untoggle the Send a private message back to Facebook checkbox.


Your response on the ticket will appear in the requester's Message inbox.


Managing solved tickets

Facebook's Message system does not thread conversations, which means your conversation with a customer, which can span several subjects, will always appear on the same ticket, unless you solve and close the ticket.  To do so, Zendesk automatically adds an automation which closes solved Facebook tickets after a period of time.  Further Messages from the Requester will create a new ticket.


Learn more

Please see our support documentation for setting up your Facebook channel and learn more about engaging your Facebook fans using Zendesk.



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Kåre Bottolfsen


I have been testing the Zendesk channel function of yours. It will be a great channel for support I think.

But I experienced that it takes between 5-10 minutes before a message are posted through our company Facebook page and it arrives in Zendesk. In todays terms that is really slow....

To maximize the quality of support we want to answer these messages like one would normally answer messages. Very quickly. And the research the requesters problem. This to maintain a feeling of instant help.

Are there any reason for these delays?

October 17, 2012 08:52
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Hi Kare, thanks for the feedback.  Most of the time, when we poll Facebook for updates, nothing has changed.  We do need to be respectful of Facebook's APIs and the rate at which we poll for updates to not exceed our rate limits, which is the reason for this delay.  As Facebook releases newer more real-time APIs, we can improve our responsiveness at that time.  

October 17, 2012 10:51
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Martin Grøn

Any news on when the error with the iPhone and iPad applications are not able to answer Facebook tickets (wall and private messages) are getting fixed?

Sorry for posting it here - I already have a ticket ind for this, but somehow nothing happens with the ticket, even though I have asked for updates!

October 17, 2012 10:53
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Hi Martin, sorry about that, I will look into it.

October 17, 2012 11:02
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Kåre Bottolfsen

Thanks for the reply Steven.

I understand your concerns regarding the polling issue.

Our company received another support request today, and this time it took 90 minutes before it got pulled into Zendesk.

Are there any timeintervals on this that you can inform about?

It would be nice to know what response time we could expect. Should we respond "manually" through Facebook or should we wait to respond through Zendesk to get the support request logged. Of course I prefer the last option, but the uncertainty about our response time to these requests makes me wonder if we should engage directly through Facebook.

October 18, 2012 10:29
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Ashwin Hegde

Hi Kåre, I'm a developer at Zendesk. I'd like to investigate your delays; it is not uncommon for the Facebook API to have erratic behavior, but 90 minutes is definitely too long. With our current polling strategy, we shouldn't see more than 5-10 minute delays.

May I know your Zendesk subaccount so I can investigate?

October 18, 2012 10:37
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Kåre Bottolfsen

Hi Ashwin.

I assume you mean our account in Zendesk?

October 18, 2012 11:12
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