Back in February, it was reported that Facebook’s Messenger would soon be introducing ads inside the service. Now, the feature is being implemented in the updated 1.3 version of the platform, along with Facebook news feed ads that open Messenger conversations when users click on them.
The announcement was made by VP of product for Messenger, David Marcus, at the Web Summit Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, yesterday. As reported at the start of the year, companies that pay to advertise in Messenger can only send these sponsored messages to people who have already initiated a conversation, such as a bot interaction, with the business.
Sponsored messages can include relevant content such as targeted updates, promotions, subscription information, and reminders. If you don’t want to be contacted, it will be possible to permanently block the brands, which will be in place until you reverse it.
Additionally, Facebook is making a new type of advertising format widely available to companies. These 'click to message' ads will start appearing in the social network's news feed this week, allowing users to open a Messenger chat with a company’s bot. The ads have been available to a private group of test marketers for the last few months, including Absolut Vodka, Activision, and Tommy Hilfiger, according to Facebook.
The new ads won’t open conversations in the other messaging service owned by Facebook – WhatsApp. Marcus told Recode: “Maybe at some point, but right now, that’s not in [the plans].” The Facebook exec assured users that sponsored messages are not going to become the modern-day equivalent of pop-up ads. Let's hope he's right.