Running ads on Facebook’s Messenger app was first mooted in the beginning of 2016 with users in Thailand and Australia testing the home screen ads back in January of this year. Facebook must think the trial was successful as it now plans on bringing the ads to Messenger’s home screen tab to its 1.2 billion users worldwide by the end of 2017.Messenger’s head of product, Stan Chudnovsky, told VentureBeat that bringing ads to the app’s home screen brings it into alignment with the company’s business model of running adverts to bring in revenue. Ads will look like the one seen in the image below, with the sponsored advert appearing between messages on the Home tab of the app.
Users will be able to click the ads to begin chatting with the business being promoted, and Facebook has mentioned that the businesses, in turn, will be able to re-engage with users that have done so. Facebook says that a small percentage of Messenger users will begin seeing the ads appear towards the end of July, with Facebook taking feedback on how the rollout is received before extending the rollout to a wider audience.
“Ads in the Home tab will follow an auction-based model and will feature the same sort of user-targeting capabilities found on Facebook or Instagram, Chudnovsky said.”
While you can understand Facebook’s strategy, in that the social media giant needs its products to bring in revenue, it’s yet another place where users are going to have personalized adverts targeted at them. And don’t think that just because you chat via WhatsApp that you are safe; Facebook snapped up WhatsApp for the princely sum of £19 billion a few years back and it will surely want to begin recouping more of its outlay at some point which means that ads will appear in some form.
What do you think about the rollout of ads in Facebook Messenger? Do you care or will you kick it to the curb and find an alternative? Let us know in the comments below.