Facebook keeps on experimenting with new types of ads. Their latest effort on this front will soon be a part of the Messenger app. This should come as no surprise, as messaging is one of the most popular smartphone features.
A few months ago, the leading social media platform started a limited beta test of Messenger ads in Australia and Thailand. Apparently, the results were satisfactory as Facebook has announced that “a small percentage” of first wave users should notice ads in their Messenger home tab later this month. If trials go well, the ads will then be gradually rolled out everywhere by the end of the year. Once the Messenger ads are available worldwide, brands will have a new way of reaching an audience of over 1 billion people.
So how will these ads work and what will they look like? Some details were shared with Techcrunch. According to Facebook representatives, “[where these ads appear in the inbox] depends on how many threads a user has, the size of their phone’s physical screen and the pixel density of the display”. The exact appearance can be seen in the video embedded below. Facebook also said that the ads themselves will be targeted at individual users and will appear between regular chat threads, but will not be picked based on users’ message content. When clicked, the ads open a new message thread with the advertising brand or forward a user to the brand’s website in the Messenger internal browser.
Advertisers globally should be able to buy Messenger ads by the end of July 2017. The app will become another placement option alongside Facebook or Instagram, and these new ads will be available in the regular Facebook Ads Manager.
Should it stay or should it go?
It is worth noting, however, that Facebook has not made any final decisions regarding the ultimate form of the new Messenger ads. Although users can hide them by selecting the appropriate option from a menu inside the app itself, they cannot be turned off completely. Meanwhile the company says that it is looking forward to user feedback on this new feature. And while businesses will surely love these ads, it is possible that the feeling might not be shared by regular users. This seems especially true when considering that after ads were introduced into Messenger at the beginning of the year they were not received very warmly. Facebook had to notice this, as the new feature seems at least a little bit less invasive for those who just want to use Messenger for communicating.