According to a leaked document from Facebook, ads are being introduced to their messaging platform Facebook Messenger. These ads could start appearing as soon as April of this year. These ads will not function like typical ads however, but instead can only be sent to customers who have previously messaged a company on the platform.
As a result of this new feature, it is likely that companies will begin to encourage their customers to send them messages so that they will be able to send them ads as soon as the feature becomes available. The leaked document also discussed the existence of a new short link that instantly starts a chat thread with a business, a feature that Facebook has already confirmed, which has furthered people’s beliefs that the Messenger ads are not just a rumor but are in fact true.
As of yet Facebook has not made a statement or commented on the feature, but instead has said, “We don’t comment on rumor or speculation. That said, our aim with Messenger is to create a high quality, engaging experience for 800 million people around the world, and that includes ensuring people do not experience unwanted messages of any type.” While this does not directly state that ads are coming to Messenger, the line about avoiding unwanted messages seems to support the idea that some type of messages are coming, and that users of the platform should not be worried about it.
For anyone concerned about Messenger turning into an inbox full of unwanted ads and messages from various businesses, keep in mind that the only companies that will be able to message you ads are the ones you have previously initiated a conversation with. The idea of having a company message a customer directly seems to be the newest direction in digital marketing, as Twitter has also announced a similar feature that makes it easier for people to direct message a company.
Over the past few years Facebook has been making numerous adjustments to Facebook business pages that make the experience better for the customer, as well as the business itself. With all of the added features that make it easier for someone to interact with a company, it makes sense that changes would come to the highly popular messaging app as well.
As for what types of ads you can expect to see in Messenger, it will likely be similar to emails you receive from companies detailing new sales, products, or other company news. It could also be an opportunity to serve as a retargeting pathway alerting you if you left an item in your cart, or if an item you were looking at has gone on sale or restocked.
Because Facebook has yet to comment on the feature, nothing can be confirmed as of yet. If you are concerned about the potential for ads to take over your Messenger feed, you likely aren’t alone. The last thing Facebook would want to do is turn people away from something that has become so successful, as 800 million people now use Messenger. That level of success did not come overnight, in fact when Messenger first launched people did not like it. It is safe to say that anything Facebook decides to do, they will do it because they think it will only enhance a user’s experience.
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