As if autoplay videos on websites were not enough to annoy the average user, Facebook is now planning on implementing autoplay video ads within its Messenger app. Now, as you have a chat with your buddy, you can be introduced to the “best adult game on the internet” with full pictures and sound.
Apparently, the social media titan is running out of places to put advertising now that it can’t sell your data as easily as it once could. According to ReCode, it has already implemented static ads within Instagram Stories and Facebook Marketplace. It has also been testing static ads in Messenger and video ads in Facebook videos that are more than 20 seconds long. Now it feels that Messenger is a great place for video advertising as well.
A Facebook spokesperson painted quite a rosy picture of the move telling Quartz, “We will be rolling out video ads gradually and thoughtfully. People that use Messenger each month are our top priority, and they will remain in control of their experience.”
"When we tested basic ads, didn’t show any changes with how people used the platform or how many messages they send."
This gradual rollout is scheduled to start on Monday, June 25 with a small batch of users. Presumably, Facebook wants to start small to see how the public reacts. I would suspect that it is not going to go over too well. However, Facebook is optimistic.
“Top priority for us is user experience,” said Messenger’s head of ad business Stefanos Loukakos. “So we don’t know yet [if these will work]. However, signs until now, when we tested basic ads, didn’t show any changes with how people used the platform or how many messages they send. Video might be a bit different, but we don’t believe so.”
Usage of the messaging app may not have changed, but that does not necessarily mean that users were happy with the “basic ads.” When asked about feedback received during the prior testing period, the Facebook spokesperson declined to comment.