According to a document Facebook has sent to some of its biggest advertisers, a copy of which was obtained by TechCrunch, the social network may start injecting ads into people’s conversations on Messenger in the second quarter of 2016. Specifically, Facebook currently plans to allow businesses to send ads as messages to users who previously interacted with that company using the Messenger service.
The leaked document advises that businesses “get consumers to start message threads with them now so they’ll be able to send them ads when the feature launches,” as per TechCrunch.
Facebook even launched, and confirmed the existence of a URL short link in the fb.com/msg/ format which instantly opens a chat thread with a business.
“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,” commented a Facebook spokesperson.
Ads won’t be unsolicited as the company won’t permit businesses to spam users’ Messenger conversations nor will be brands allowed to send ads as messages to those who’ve liked their Pages
“Only those who have voluntarily chatted with a business can be sent ads,” reads the report.
The aforesaid Messenger URL short link is now live for all Pages in the fb.com/msg/ format (for example, fb.com/msg/idownloadblog — but don’t you worry, we won’t spam your Messenger conversations). Facebook is encouraging businesses to share their Messenger URL short link which, when clicked or tapped by a user, will start a conversation with the brand on the Messenger service.
Should a business achieve a 90 percent response rate to messages within 24 hours over the past week, its short link will become searchable on Facebook.
It is no wonder that Facebook is trying to turn Messenger into another ad-based revenue stream: the service is being used by 800 million people around the world, and that’s a lot of eyeballs to monetize.
A year ago, Facebook began putting video ads in people’s feeds on Instagram, another valuable online property it owns.
How long before ads start appearing in WhatsApp, do you think?