You’ve probably been hearing a lot about Telegram lately. The free mobile messaging app is currently the third most downloaded app in the Apple App Store, and it recently surpassed WhatsApp in terms of monthly active users. Telegram is best known for its unique “dual-purpose” wallet that also acts as a messaging app. It basically allows users to send encrypted messages to other devices, as well as utilize the digital currency – the Telegram token – to pay for various functions within the app.
This combination of features makes Telegram incredibly convenient for users, but it also makes it extremely valuable for developers and businesses who want to integrate the app’s features into their own projects.
Before we begin, it’s important to note that ManyChat is a Y Combinator-backed company with nearly 1.7 million users. Moreover, the app is officially endorsed by brands such as HP, Dell, Skype, and Box. (This is a recurring theme throughout this article – the authors of these articles have either been directly hired by a brand, or their employer has purchased a significant stake in the company.)
Setting Up an Accounts Database
The first thing you need to do before you can use ManyChat to integrate with Facebook is to set up a database of account information. You can do this by going to the Settings tab in the app and clicking the Accounts link. (You can also do this from the Facebook app by tapping on your profile picture and then pressing the Account tab.)
From here, you can Add Account or Manage Existing Accounts. To add an account, simply enter the email address associated with the account you wish to add and then click the Create button.
After you add the account, you can verify its email address and then set a password for the account. Doing this will make it much easier for you to access the account when you need to use its features within ManyChat. (You can change the password at any time by going back to the Account Settings page and clicking the password link next to the account name.)
Configuring Facebook Integration
Once you’ve added your accounts, you can jump over to the Integrations tab in the Settings section of the app and click the Facebook button. Doing so will bring you to the Facebook app, where you can enter the app’s OAuth client ID and secret.
This is a unique, proprietary ID and secret that belongs to Facebook. You won’t be able to use these with any other apps, and you need to keep them safe. You can also find these ID and secret values in your Facebook app’s Settings section. (The Facebook app itself is also encrypted, so you don’t need to worry about your personal information being accessed by anyone else.)
Once you’ve set these values, you can return to the ManyChat app and click the Check button in the top-right corner of the screen.
This will take you back to the app’s Settings page, where you can click the Save button to save the integration settings for later use.
Using The Facebook API
Before you begin using the Facebook API in your project, you will need to enable the “Share with Facebook” button in your web browser’s settings. (This will make it much easier for people to share your content on Facebook once you’ve integrated their comments onto your blog posts or website articles.)
To allow manychat to access your Facebook account when you’re logged in (so it can pull down your public Facebook profile information when you’re logged into the app), you’ll need to set the app as your default social media app in your iOS settings. To do this, go to Settings app on your iPhone and then click the Facebook icon. (You can also do this from the Facebook app by tapping on your profile picture and pressing the Default Apps button.)
From here, you can set ManyChat as your default social media app, and you can also choose which apps you’d like to have access to your Facebook account (such as WhatsApp, Instagram, and Snapchat). If you choose to give other apps access to your Facebook account, be sure to disable the option within the Facebook app so that you’re not accidentally giving the app access to the information stored on your phone.
Once you’ve enabled the Share with Facebook button on your web browser and set ManyChat as your default social media app on your iPhone, you can jump over to the API tab in the Settings section of the app and click the blue button to continue to the next step.
Authorizing ManyChat to Use Your Facebook Account
The next step in the process of integrating Facebook with ManyChat is to authorize the app to access your Facebook account when you’re logged in. To do this, return to the Facebook App and click the Settings icon in the upper-right corner of the screen. (Alternatively, you can go to the App Settings tab within the app and click the Authorize button at the bottom of the screen.)
From here, you will be asked to enter your phone number and then confirm it via text message. After you do this, you can click the Continue button to return to the ManyChat app’s Settings page. (You won’t be able to proceed with the Facebook integration until this step is completed.)
Finally, you will need to click the Save button to save your integration settings. Now that Facebook has been integrated into ManyChat, you can use the app to send and receive messages to and from your Facebook friends.
An Example of How to Use MuchChat
As mentioned, ManyChat is Y Combinator-backed company with a focus on user experience. The developers of the app create useful utilities that make using the service easier for users. One of these is the Recently tab, which can be found at the top of every user’s Discover section. (If you’ve never used ManyChat, this section organizes the app’s various functions into bite-sized chunks that are easy to understand.)
Clicking this button will show you the most recent activity from your social media accounts.
Let’s say that you’ve been using Google Chrome to access your social media accounts and you’ve noticed that a lot of your content has been appearing in your email inboxes. (This is because a lot of the platforms you use – namely, Facebook and Twitter – use the email functionality of your browser to send you alerts when content is posted or shared.)
Rather than having to go back and forth between your email and social media accounts to keep track of these notifications, you can set up a “digest” email for your social media accounts’ alerts. To do this, go to the Chrome browser’s Settings and then click on the Website settings button. From here, you can either select Email for websites or set up a custom email address for your social media accounts.
With this email address, you can then follow the steps above to set up ManyChat and begin using it to communicate with your Facebook friends. (You will need to have a functioning email address in order to create the digest email.)
Why Should You Try This Out?
The use of messaging apps has increased significantly over the past few years, and businesses, bloggers, and app developers have taken note. If you’re interested in integrating your blog or website with Facebook, or if you simply want to be able to message your Facebook friends from within a secure app, then ManyChat is a great option. Moreover, the privacy controls within the app are also much better than those of its counterparts (such as WhatsApp).
In short, with the explosive growth of messaging apps and the rising tide of populism around the world, many are taking a second look at how they communicate online.