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Messages Feature and Subscriptions

Description

The Messages feature serves as your users' "storehouse" for received push notifications. It allows users to refer back to previous push notifications they may have missed at receiving time.

From within the feature, users can view plain text, template, and linked push notifications' content. They just need to click a message to view the details.

Messages Feature from Bizness Apps on Vimeo.


Related features:

Setup

Navigate to the Build tab to begin the setup process, then follow the steps below.


1. Click ADD FEATURE.

2. Choose the Messages feature from the menu, then click SELECT.

3. Name your feature, then click ADD. Your new feature will now appear in the left-side menu.

4. Click on the feature to expand its menu. From the left-side menu you can:

  • use the checkbox to delete the feature.
  • click and drag the arrow icon to rearrange.
  • edit the feature icon by clicking it, then selecting a new image from the fly-up menu.
  • toggle on/off the feature.
  • jump to a specific section (i.e. Content or Custom Design) to adjust the feature settings.

Content

Here you can rename the feature, configure the settings, and add subscriptions.
 

1. Under Screen Info, change your Screen/Feature Name or leave as-is. This is the name that will appear in the app's feature menu (e.g. "Updates" as opposed to "Messages").

2. Under Settings, check the box to enable specific options.

  • Display Messages Screen: Choose how to display your Messages feature.
    • Homescreen Widget: A Messages shortcut will appear on the app's home screen when this setting is enabled.
    • Display Widget Only: The homescreen widget will appear but the actual Messages feature will be hidden from the feature menu when this setting is enabled.

3. Under Homescreen Widget, configure the Messages shortcut settings. This section will only appear if you've enabled Homescreen Widget under Settings.

  • Icon Location: Select the widget's positioning (Left Side of Screen or Right Side of Screen) on the home screen.
  • Icon Opacity: Select the widget opacity. The farther to the right, the more opaque (visible) the shortcut will be.

3. Under Subscription Service, toggle on Subscription-Based Push Notes to create unique message lists. Users can subscribe to these lists to receive push notifications tailored to their interests. Click ADD SUBSCRIPTION and type the name of the subscription in the field below. Repeat this process for each subscription.

4. Click SAVE at the top right when you're done.

Subscriptions

In an effort to both improve the messaging clarity to app users and create a way to help deter users from turning off your applications push notes because of spam we have built a new feature that allows users to essentially ‘mute’ categories of messages.

We call these categories subscriptions and with them you can now inform those interested in certain aspects of your business without spamming those who are not.

To create and manage your subscriptions, head over to your Messages feature.

Turn on subscriptions via the toggle as shown below.

 

Now you will be able to click "Add Subscription".

Here you will be presented with a simple text field to title your subscription.

You can also organize the order of these by drag and drop.

If you take a look at the image above you can see how many users have each subscription turned on.

Notes: 

By default, subscriptions are all enabled in a newly installed app. This will ensure at first users will not miss out on any messages. 

When messages are sent they will still be displayed in the messages list regardless of the subscriptions settings. The settings are simply to turn off (mute) the push notification prompt from alerting of the new messages. 

When users first navigate to the messages tab with subscriptions enabled they will now see a new gear icon on the top right. On first visit, they will also see a notification overlay describing what the gear icon does and to bring attention to it.

Users can then toggle off the subscriptions they do not wish to receive updates to, then save their changes.
 

IMG_0589.png IMG_0593.png


When sending push notes you can now select from your Subscriptions offerings. 

If you choose not to select any, the push notification will go out to ALL users, even if they have all subscriptions turned off (This, of course, does not override the device targets or user groups selections).
 


 

4. That's it! You're all done at this point. Once your app is live, you'll be able to view your received push notifications within your Messages feature.



Message Center Shortcut


The shortcut that appears on the home screen of your app does not indicate how many total push notifications the user has received since they last checked the Messages feature. Rather, the indicator will display a red circle when the user receives a push notification while browsing inside the app. For instance, if I'm browsing your app while you send a push notification, then my indicator will display this red dot to alert me that I missed a message while viewing the app.


The indicator is intended to alert users who failed to receive a visible push notification. Any users who were outside of your app when you sent the message would have seen a pop-up, a banner at the top of their phone screen, or a badge on their app icon. This all depends on their personal notification settings, of course! The indicator won't appear for those users, because it's assumed they've already viewed the message.





Deleting Messages From the Back-End


Through the Messages feature, users can delete previously received push notifications from their device. These messages are stored "locally," on the device itself, so when they trash a message, that action only applies to their device.


However, from the Push Notifications section of your dashboard, you can also remove scheduled & previously sent push notifications.



1. When logged into the app, visit the Push Notifications section of the dashboard.



2. At the top left of the window, click the SENT tab to reveal your messages log.



3. Find the message you'd like to delete in your log. You'll see a Scheduled section if you want to select upcoming, scheduled messages. Otherwise, you can use Sent and filter by message types



4. When you hover over a message you'll see a circle pop up to the left, check this to select it. You can select multiple at a time. When you want to delete your selected messages click the trash can at the bottom center. (Note: If you delete a scheduled push notification, it will no longer send at its scheduled time.)





Troubleshooting


If you're not seeing messages within your Messages feature, but you're receiving push notifications successfully, it could be due to connection issues. Messages pull in from the server, so if your data/WiFi connection is weak, they may fail to appear in your tab.


For Android Messages feature issues, updating the app will commonly do the trick. Just republish for a new APK file and update your app, then test out the Messages feature after your updated app is released.



To learn more about sending Push Notifications with Subscriptions check the Push Notification article here

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  1. Gerardo Gonzalez

  2. Posted
  3. Updated

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