This week, Facebook will be “launching a very small test” for small groups of people in Australia and Thailand where businesses will have the chance to place ads the home screen of its Messenger app. These ads will be placed below recent conversations, and ads on the home page will stay there, not popping up in conversations.
The ads will almost certainly be personalized to the user’s viewing and like patterns, similar to ad showings on Facebook itself. Businesses have long been interested in advertising through the mobile app, as it now has more than 1 billion monthly active users. If the test succeeds, businesses will be able to build more name recognition and increase sales by advertising on one of the most popular mediums of communication in the world.
Facebook has stated that this new feature will not create a one-sided experience: “For the Messenger community, it may enhance the discovery of new experiences to make it seamless to interact with businesses on their own terms.” In addition, the people participating in the test will be able to hide or report ads at any time, and advertisers in the test will not be able to directly advertise users unless the user initiates a conversation first.
As of right now, we don’t know when this feature will expand to other Messenger users.