Facebook Messenger may soon be seeing some advertising.
A recent report from TechCrunch based on a leaked Facebook document says that Facebook has plans to launch ads within messenger within the second quarter of 2016.
Don’t start worrying about Messenger changing dramatically; it looks like these ads will only be enabled within conversations with businesses, and they’ll be fairly limited.
Facebook launched business chat options for Messenger in March of 2015 - restricted to US initially.
The business tools enable users to communicate directly with a business and modify or track orders. Businesses can also use Facebook messenger to provide customer service. The new advertisements seem to be an extension to these business tools.
According the TechCrunch’s source, businesses will be able to send ads within Messenger, but only to people who have chatted with them before. In that way, it’s a lot like receiving an email promotion from a company you’ve ordered from in the past. In theory, the Messenger ads will be limited to businesses you are interested in and are already comfortable interacting with through Facebook Messenger.
To help businesses take advantage of Messenger’s features, Facebook seems to have launched a new kind of personalized URL. Businesses can share these URLs, and when a user clicks on them, they will open up a new Messenger thread with the business. The goal seems to be not only to increase direct communication with customers, but to build up a group of users who will be accessible for the new kind of ads.
As of yet, Facebook has not commented directly the speculation about new Messenger ads. In a comment to TechCrunch, however, a Facebook spokesperson 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.”
This is reassuring that the new ads, if they do indeed come to fruition, will not be overly intrusive or take over the Messenger platform.
Written by content manager Meghan Woolley
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