Facebook Messenger, one of the world’s largest messaging apps, has historically been 100% ad-free. However, TechCrunch has uncovered a leaked document intended for Facebook advertiser that reveals plans to begin inserting ads into Messenger in Q2 2016.
TechCrunch isn’t revealing images of the document so as to protect their source, but the details reveal that Messenger will allow companies to send ads as messages to users given that the user has started a chat conversation with the company. This, combined with Facebook’s new URL short link “fb.com/msg/,” which automatically opens up a chat thread with a company when clicked, could quickly make Messenger a powerful advertising platform.
When reached for comment, Facebook 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.” This would seem to imply that Facebook will be putting controls in the hands of their users to limit or stop unwanted interactions with businesses. Well, I mean, they better, or else the pitchforks would be coming out pretty fast.
This ad functionality looks like it can only be initiated by users and never businesses. To begin receiving ads, a user must always be the first to start the conversation. Companies won’t be able to push out ads en masse to Facebookers who merely liked their product page.
These ads could be rolled out as early as April, and Facebook is encouraging businesses to get their consumer base to begin initiating conversations with them so that they can start sending ad messages as soon as the function is available. In the meantime, what do you think of Facebook bringing ads to Messenger? Let us know in the comments below.