Facebook announced that they plan to embellish Messenger’s home screen with ads globally, as they’re out of space on the Facebook app. Messenger’s home screen’s main functionality is being an inbox for the most recent discussions.
The news was broken Tuesday by the company’s head of product for Messenger, Stan Chudnovsky, at the MB 2017, a meeting between tech giants and San Francisco tech start-ups.
Ads on Messenger’s home screen were first beta-tested in Thailand and Australia early this year. The instant messaging service now has 1.2 billion monthly users, making other chat apps like China’s WeChat to pale by comparison. Chudnovsky acknowledged Tuesday that Messenger’s purpose has been advertising from day one.
“[Advertising is] not necessarily everything, but it’s definitely how we’re going to be making money right now,”
the Facebook executive said.
He added that the platform could make money out of other business models, but advertising remains the No. 1 priority.
All Users Will See Ads on Their Home Screen
Current ads on Messenger are either sponsored ads or ads popping up in users’ Facebook News Feed to redirect them to a Messenger discussion with a company’s representative or a bot. Until now, sponsored messages only appeared to users that had already discussed with a company.
Facebook also announced that adds embedded in the home tab would use the same algorithms Facebook and Instagram use to personalize ads. During the beta-tests in Australia and Thailand, all Messenger users received advertisements. Users in other countries could start seeing ads by the end of the year, but the timing can differ as general availability will largely depend on users’ feedback.
Inserting ads in Messenger for everyone to see is a first step to connect the app’s billion-plus users with 70 million companies on Facebook. The tech giant first announced the strategy in the spring of 2016, when it rolled out the Messenger Platform for bots.
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