Facebook Messenger will start sending you advertisements in the next few months, according to a new report. The feature won’t be a free-for-all for companies to spam out ads, but will instead allow businesses with whom users have chatted to then start dishing private advertisements, the logic seemingly being that if you chatted with the company you’re probably interested in its items. Facebook reportedly also has prepped a method to get more users into chats with businesses (opening the door to those ads).
The information comes from a document TechCrunch says it has acquired from a “verified source” being kept anonymous. The document reportedly shows that Facebook will open up Messenger to advertisements in the second quarter of this year, and that it has a shortened URL that, when clicked, will send a FB user directly into a chat session with the business.
Once that happens, the user will then be opened to getting ads from them (regardless of whether they’re wanted). The shortened link is “fb.com/msg/“ — this assumes the Facebook user proceeds to send a private message, of course. Facebook has confirmed the URL’s existence; you can yourself test it out by typing the above address, then adding a page name to the end — something like “FB.com/msg/BusinessName.”
Facebook has not confirmed whether the Messenger ads are planned. In a statement to TC, the company said:
We don’t comment on rumor or speculation. That said, our aim with Messenger is to create a high quality, engaging experience for 800 million people around the world, and that includes ensuring people do not experience unwanted messages of any type.
Assuming the report is correct and Facebook does rollout this option to advertisers, it doesn’t appear there will be any way to opt out of the advertisements. However, given that the ads are dependent on chatting with businesses, it may simply mean users who don’t want to see ads will avoid private communications with companies.
It isn’t clear whether deleting the chat thread with the company would eliminate the ads from them. Regardless, there will probably be strong limitations on how often a company is able to push out advertisements, though all those details are yet to be seen (assuming the ads arrive at all).
What do you think? Would such an arrangement be alright with you, or would you start looking into chatting app alternatives? Drop us a comment!