For the upcoming weeks, the social media giant announced it is going to start rolling out test ads for its Messenger platform in Thailand and Australia. Facebook says the ads won’t be intrusive and their dimensions will be limited, allowing businesses to advertise their products or services on the Messenger home screen. According to the company, they will appear below users’ recent conversations and will feature a card-style design with text and image thumbnails.
The functionality is no rocket science: users tap the ads which lead them to multiple choices. Either learn more about the business, sign up for a particular service, browse the company’s official website, or perform various other actions. In truth, Messenger ads do not steer away much from Facebook pages that redirect users to a business’ site.
Currently, the advertisements take up a lot of space as they are placed above the Active Now and below Favorites section. The main downside is that these ads make the application less user-friendly since people chatting via Messenger will have to scroll past large advertisements in order to reach key features.
Since this is only a testing phase, the company promises if ads will be embedded within Messenger they will not appear in active conversations, at least. However, they might easily pop up in the conversation, but only if the users tap them or initiate a chat with a specific brand.
Eddi Zhang, Facebook Product Manager, said via an official statement that the businesses are thrilled about the concept of integrating apps within the Messenger application since they could boost sales, increase customer satisfaction, and improve brand awareness. However, users might not share the companies’ enthusiasm.
At the moment, Facebook already provides multiple brands with the possibility to reach out to users via Messenger. Ads that pop up in the News Feed take users into a chat session with a specific brand or even redirect them to the businesses’ official web pages.
Even though a study performed by Facebook revealed roughly 1 billion messages are sent to different brands each month, this does not necessarily mean that users want ads to appear in Messenger as well. However, the social media company did say that based on the preliminary results, Facebook could reconsider its strategy. The testing is scheduled to begin in two weeks’ time in Australia and Thailand, according to the company.
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