Last updated: 13 January 2023

Chatbots are capable of sending messages in a variety of formats. Using these messages types will help you create an excellent and engaging chatbot experience.

Some message types are only compatible with specific chatbot channels. If a channel does not support a certain message type, when possible, the platform will fallback to a different message type. Read the table below carefully to understand the implications of replying on specific message types for your chatbot experience.

All the available message types

There are 13 different message types. All are illustrated below using the Converse widget.

Standard message

A standard message is plain text (including emojis).

Quick Reply message

A quick reply message is plain text along with up to 10 small postback buttons.

Use the double-lines next to each button to re-order them.

Action message

An action message is plain text along with up to 5 big buttons. These buttons can: 

  • Callto: Trigger a phone call. Accepts any phone number, with or without area code (e.g. +44).

  • Mailto: Trigger an email.

  • URL: Link to a web page. Must include http:// or https://.

  • File: Link to a file hosted on your chatbot platform.

  • Postback: Link to another chatbot action.

Use the double-lines next to each button to re-order them.

General message

A general message is a card that includes:

  • An image, with the option to display it in full size or fit to the card.

  • An optional image link, which users will be sent to if they click the image

  • An image description (to be read by accessibility screen readers, not visible inside the chatbot).

  • A title

  • A subtitle

  • Up to 5 buttons (PostbackURLFile, and Mailto/Callto). See Action message for more info on buttons.

Carousel message

A carousel message is a group between 2 and 20 general messages put together in a swipeable format.

Image message

An image message is an image, hosted on your chatbot platform. It can also include an optional bit of text.

Supported formats: GIF, PNG, JPEG.

Video message

A video message is a video, hosted on either YouTube or Vimeo. To create a video message, you will need:

  • To select its host (YouTube or Vimeo)

  • Its URL

It can also include an optional bit of text.

Content message

A content message is a bit of text and a link allowing the user to view additional, rich content. The additional content is hidden behind a button (View). 

From your chatbot platform, you can create the additional content by giving it a title and structured text. Text can be structured with your typical word processing features:

  • Paragraphs

  • Bold, italic, underline

  • Bullet and numeric lists

  • Tables

  • Links

  • Images

You may also use markdown or HTML to format your content.

Content messages are great to provide users with a short answer to a quick and an option to read more.

When a user clicks the View button, your additional content appears in a slide-in panel.

Embed message

An embed message is a bit of text and a link allowing the user to view an embed widget. To create an embed message, you will need:

  • A bit of text

  • A title for your embed

  • An embed URL for your widget

Embed messages are great to display calendar booking tools (e.g. Calendly), survey tools (e.g. Survey Monkey), audio tools (e.g. Vocaroo), and more.

When a user clicks the View button, your embed tool appears in a slide-in panel.

Progress message

A progress message is a bit of text with a looped animation of three flashing dots. 

Progress messages are excellent to make it obvious to the user that something will happen, they just have to wait. They are most used as a placeholder between a chatbot answer and a live chat agent takeover.

Payment message

A payment message is a card containing the various fields required to make a payment through your integrated payment provider. This can include:

  • Card holder’s name

  • Card number

  • Expiry dates

  • CCV

And more.

Event message

An event message is a small, grey plain text message. Contrary to any other message type, event messages don’t appear within a text bubble. 

Event messages act as great notifications from the chatbot. For example, if your chatbot just performed an integration, you could use an event message to let the user know.

Dynamic message

Dynamic messages allow you to programatically create any message by looping over data.

Learn more about designing dynamic messages

Compatibility and fallback across messaging channels

Each messaging channel is slightly different and unique. As such, some message types that might work on Facebook Messenger may not have a corresponding message type available on a channel like Telegram.

Sometimes, a message type may not be available, but it is possible to create a close-second. 

We are unfortunately at the mercy of the features made available (or not) by the messaging channels.

Below are 13 tables, one per message type, each representing their compatibility or potential fallback message type across channels. 

Standard messages

Channels 

Compatibility

Fallback 

Chatbot widget

Compatible

N/A

Embedded chatbot

Compatible

N/A

Full-page chatbot

Compatible

N/A

Facebook Messenger

Compatible

N/A

Telegram

Compatible

N/A

Facebook Workplace

Compatible

N/A

Microsoft Teams

Compatible

N/A

Instagram

Compatible

N/A

Amazon Alexa (voice)

Compatible

N/A

Amazon Alexa (screen)

Compatible

  • Alexa will display your standard message.

VOIP

Compatible

N/A

Quick Reply messages

Channels 

Compatibility

Notes 

Chatbot widget

Compatible

N/A

Embedded chatbot

Compatible

N/A

Full-page chatbot

Compatible

N/A

Facebook Messenger

Compatible

N/A

Telegram

Compatible

N/A

Facebook Workplace

Compatible

N/A

Microsoft Teams

Compatible

N/A

Instagram

Compatible

N/A

Amazon Alexa (voice)

Adapted

  • Alexa will read out your message but not its buttons.

Amazon Alexa (screen)

Compatible

  • Alexa will display your message and up to 9 buttons.

VOIP

Adapted

  • VOIP will read out your message but not its buttons.

Action messages

Channels 

Compatibility

Notes 

Chatbot widget

Compatible

N/A

Embedded chatbot

Compatible

N/A

Full-page chatbot

Adapted

  • Postbacks won’t trigger behind a link or file click.

Facebook Messenger

Adapted

  • Postbacks won’t trigger behind a link or file click.

  • Facebook only support up to 3 buttons.

  • Facebook do not support mailto and callto. Those buttons will be ignored.

Telegram

Adapted

  • Postbacks won’t trigger behind a link or file click.

  • Messages containing a file won’t send.

  • Messages containing a mailto or callto will only send the message.

Facebook Workplace

Adapted

  • Postbacks won’t trigger behind a link or file click.

  • Messages containing a mailto or callto will only send the message.

Microsoft Teams

Adapted

  • Postbacks won’t trigger behind a link or file click.

  • Files are not accessible.

  • Messages containing a mailto or callto will only send the message.

Instagram

Incompatible

  • Action messages will not send through Instagram.

Amazon Alexa (voice)

Adapted

  • Alexa will read out your message but not its buttons.

Amazon Alexa (screen)

Compatible

  • Alexa will display your message and up to 5 buttons.

  • Clicking a postback will move the conversation along.

  • PDFs and callto are not compatible on Alexa

  • Links and mailto will open a browser and end the conversation.

VOIP

Adapted

  • VOIP will read out your message but not its buttons.

General messages

Channels 

Compatibility

Notes 

Chatbot widget

Compatible

N/A

Embedded chatbot

Compatible

N/A

Full-page chatbot

Adapted

  • Postbacks won’t trigger behind a link or file click.

Facebook Messenger

Adapted

  • Postbacks won’t trigger behind a link or file click.

  • Facebook only support up to 3 buttons.

  • Facebook do not support mailto and callto. Those buttons will be ignored.

Telegram

Adapted

  • Postbacks won’t trigger behind a link or file click.

  • Messages containing a file won’t send.

  • Messages containing a mailto or callto will only send the message.

Facebook Workplace

Adapted

  • Postbacks won’t trigger behind a link or file click.

  • Messages containing a mailto or callto will only send the message.

Microsoft Teams

Adapted

  • Postbacks won’t trigger behind a link or file click.

  • Files are not accessible.

  • Messages containing a mailto or callto will only send the message.

Instagram

Adapted

  • Postbacks won’t trigger behind a link or file click.

  • Instagram only support up to 3 buttons.

Amazon Alexa (voice)

Adapted

  • Alexa will read out the title of your message but not its subtitle, buttons, image.

Amazon Alexa (screen)

Compatible

  • Alexa will display your title, subtitle, image, and up to 5 buttons.

  • Clicking a postback will move the conversation along.

  • PDFs and callto are not compatible on Alexa

  • Links and mailto will open a browser and end the conversation.

VOIP

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send a content message through this channel.

  • Callers trying to reach a General message will get a ‘busy line’ tonality.

Carousel messages

Channels 

Compatibility

Notes 

Chatbot widget

Compatible

N/A

Embedded chatbot

Compatible

N/A

Full-page chatbot

Adapted

  • Postbacks won’t trigger behind a link or file click.

Facebook Messenger

Adapted

  • Postbacks won’t trigger behind a link or file click.

  • Facebook only support up to 3 buttons.

  • Facebook do not support mailto and callto. Those buttons will be ignored.

Telegram

Adapted

  • Only the carousel’s images will be sent.

Facebook Workplace

Adapted

  • Postbacks won’t trigger behind a link or file click.

  • No sideway scroll available.

  • Messages containing a mailto or callto will only send the message.

Microsoft Teams

Adapted

  • Postbacks won’t trigger behind a link or file click.

  • Files are not accessible.

  • Messages containing a mailto or callto will only send the message.

Instagram

Adapted

  • Postbacks won’t trigger behind a link or file click.

  • Facebook only support up to 3 buttons.

Amazon Alexa (voice)

Adapted

  • Alexa will only read out the title of the first card of the carousel but not its subtitle, image, or buttons nor any element from following cards.

Amazon Alexa (screen)

Compatible

  • Alexa will display up to 20 cards.

  • Alexa will display your title, subtitle, image, and up to 5 buttons.

  • Clicking a postback will move the conversation along.

  • PDFs and callto are not compatible on Alexa

  • Links and mailto will open a browser and end the conversation.

VOIP

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send a carousel message through this channel.

  • Callers trying to reach a carousel message will get a ‘busy line’ tonality.

Image messages

Channels 

Compatibility

Notes 

Chatbot widget

Compatible

N/A

Embedded chatbot

Compatible

N/A

Full-page chatbot

Compatible

N/A

Facebook Messenger

Adapted

  • Images with text will only send text.

Telegram

Compatible

N/A

Facebook Workplace

Adapted

  • Images with text will not send.

Microsoft Teams

Compatible

N/A

Instagram

Adapted

  • Images with text will only send the image.

  • QR codes created within your platform are SVG files, which are not compatible with Instagram.

Amazon Alexa (voice)

Adapted

  • Alexa will read out the optional message copy.

Amazon Alexa (screen)

Compatible

N/A

VOIP

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send an image message through this channel.

  • Callers trying to reach an image message will get a ‘busy line’ tonality.

Video messages

Channels 

Compatibility

Notes 

Chatbot widget

Compatible

N/A

Embedded chatbot

Compatible

N/A

Full-page chatbot

Compatible

N/A

Facebook Messenger

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send a video message through this channel.

Telegram

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send a video message through this channel.

Facebook Workplace

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send a video message through this channel.

Microsoft Teams

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send a video message through this channel.

Instagram

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send a video message through this channel.

Amazon Alexa

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send a video message through this channel.

VOIP

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send a video message through this channel.

  • Callers trying to reach a video message will get a ‘busy line’ tonality.

Content messages

Channels 

Compatibility

Notes 

Chatbot widget

Compatible

N/A

Embedded chatbot

Compatible

N/A

Full-page chatbot

Compatible

N/A

Facebook Messenger

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send a content message through this channel.

Telegram

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send a content message through this channel.

Facebook Workplace

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send a content message through this channel.

Microsoft Teams

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send a content message through this channel.

Instagram

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send a content message through this channel.

Amazon Alexa

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send a content message through this channel.

VOIP

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send a content message through this channel.

  • Callers trying to reach a content message will get a ‘busy line’ tonality.

Embed messages

Channels 

Compatibility

Notes 

Chatbot widget

Compatible

N/A

Embedded chatbot

Compatible

N/A

Full-page chatbot

Compatible

N/A

Facebook Messenger

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send an embed message through this channel.

Telegram

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send an embed message through this channel.

Facebook Workplace

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send an embed message through this channel.

Microsoft Teams

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send an embed message through this channel.

Instagram

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send an embed message through this channel.

Amazon Alexa

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send an embed message through this channel.

VOIP

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send an embed message through this channel.

  • Callers trying to reach an embed message will get a ‘busy line’ tonality.

Progress messages

Channels 

Compatibility

Notes 

Chatbot widget

Compatible

N/A

Embedded chatbot

Compatible

N/A

Full-page chatbot

Compatible

N/A

Facebook Messenger

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send a progress message through this channel.

Telegram

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send a progress message through this channel.

Facebook Workplace

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send a progress message through this channel.

Microsoft Teams

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send a progress message through this channel.

Instagram

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send a progress message through this channel.

Amazon Alexa (voice)

Compatible

N/A

Amazon Alexa (screen)

Compatible

  • Alexa will display the text.

VOIP

Compatible

N/A

Payment messages

Channels 

Compatibility

Notes 

Chatbot widget

Compatible

N/A

Embedded chatbot

Compatible

N/A

Full-page chatbot

Compatible

N/A

Facebook Messenger

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send a payment message through this channel.

Telegram

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send a payment message through this channel.

Facebook Workplace

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send a payment message through this channel.

Microsoft Teams

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send a payment message through this channel.

Instagram

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send a payment message through this channel.

Amazon Alexa

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send a payment message through this channel.

VOIP

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send a payment message through this channel.

  • Callers trying to reach a payment message will get a ‘busy line’ tonality.

Event messages

Channels 

Compatibility

Fallback 

Chatbot widget

Compatible

N/A

Embedded chatbot

Compatible

N/A

Full-page chatbot

Compatible

  • Event messages display like a normal message.

Facebook Messenger

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send an event message through this channel.

Telegram

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send an event message through this channel.

Facebook Workplace

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send an event message through this channel.

Microsoft Teams

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send an event message through this channel.

Instagram

Incompatible

  • No fallback provided. The chatbot will not send an event message through this channel.

Amazon Alexa

Compatible

  • Alexa will read out the text.

VOIP

Compatible

N/A

Dynamic messages

Refer to the compatibility breakdown of the message template you are building and the channel you are building it for.