How ’bout some ads with your Messenger?
Like Facebook’s Messenger? Hate it? Use it a lot? 1.2 billion people like it enough to use it regularly.
Yea, well, just like (almost) anything else in Facebookistan, you’re gonna soon start seeing ads when you chat with others, send photos and videos, maybe give them a video or audio call, send money.
Oh yea, money.
Facebook earned 84 percent of its $8.8 billion in revenue from its mobile apps in the final quarter of 2016 and, so, it seems only logical the ubiquitous social platform would take ads to its Messenger app. Instagram has been selling ads for a long time, now, and WhatsApp remains (relatively) ad free – for now.
But the real reason for launching ad space in Messenger, according to industry news sources like Advertising Age and Tech Crunch, is that Facebook is running out of ad space real estate on Facebook itself and Instagram. Not kidding. ($8.8 billion in revenue in the final quarter, alone, of 2016.)
“People already spend time on Messenger interacting and conducting commerce with businesses and brands they love, and now with Messenger ads, they have an opportunity to discover experiences directly on their home tab,” says the Messenger blog.
“Advertisers will be able to add Messenger to campaigns using the Traffic and Conversion objectives and leverage existing targeting options (through Power Editor and Ads Manager),” hints the blog. “A small percentage of people will begin to see ads in their Messenger Home tab towards the end of this month as we build ads inventory, and then learn from this beta expansion to ensure we’re continuing to deliver the best experience. We will gradually look to extend this to more people over the coming months.”
Facebook began experimenting with ads in Messenger in January. They were not well-received, according to published reports.
Digital Marketeers can, for example, converse directly with customers, clients & supporters through its Messenger app.
It began its “click to Messenger” program earlier this year but began in June extending the program to Instagram as well.
“When someone clicks on an Instagram click to Messenger ad, it opens a conversation with your business,” explains the Facebook Business Blog. “People will be sent to your Messenger content, which includes all the text, image and video messages that you set up when you created the ad.
“Click to Messenger ads help to channel people’s interests on Instagram into an active conversation with your business. They can be image, video or carousel ads, and they’re available in Ads Manager, Power Editor and the API. You can also place click to Messenger ads on both Facebook and Instagram to extend your reach.”
The new advertising in Messenger will appear in the initial screen when users pull up the app. We’ll see where it goes from here.