Facebook is currently testing its ad feature on its Messenger app in select countries and the users will see annoying ads pop up on the home screen of their app. The social media network is doing this in a bid to increase its revenues.
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Businesses have long been in awe of the power of Facebook which currently boasts of reaching people worldwide in numbers north of a billion — and now they’ve turned their attention to the potential of one of the biggest messaging services of Facebook.
The Ad units tests will currently be run in Australia and Thailand, and will later be rolled out globally.
“This week we are launching a very small test that gives businesses the opportunity to place ads on the Messenger home screen. This means that a business is able to place an ad in an area of Messenger below your recent conversations, similar to how we surface birthday notifications or where we let you know if a friend is currently active on Messenger,” writes Eddie Zhang, Product Manager.
The company claims that these ads will not pop up in your conversations in your Facebook Messenger app, that is until you choose to speak to a brand or click on an ad.
Facebook says that more than a billion messages are exchanged between brands and users via the Messenger app, and this unleashes an array of opportunities in front of the social media giant — making Messenger app a big business proposition.
“For the Messenger community, it may enhance the discovery of new experiences to make it seamless to interact with businesses on their terms. For businesses, it could offer a new way to surface their products and services to current and potential customers,” Zhang added.
The company maintains that users — currently in Australia and Thailand — are going to be in full control of their apps as they can report or hide any ad using the drop-down menu in their Messenger app.
Advertisers won’t have the privilege to initiate a conversation with any users and will only be able to message them once they initiate the conversation from their end.
Since Facebook is a free to use service, we certainly can not object them to drive revenues using their products, but there is a fine line between leveraging their user-base and exploiting them and hopefully the company won’t fiddle with user experience too much in order to monetise their product.