Ads will slowly but surely start creeping to your Messenger home page now that Facebook has announced the worldwide roll out of what used to be a beta program so far. The ads would be there to be seen in the Messenger home page and would be in the form of images, clicking which will lead to a page outside of the Messenger platform.
The Messenger home screen ads beta program has been in operation since January but was restricted to only users in Australia and Thailand. However, the wider roll out to users all over the world will be pushed in a phased manner and would also take into account the user’s reaction to such ads.
The above model will also mark a departure from the current practice where only those businesses that a user has communicated with is allowed to further interact with the user with promotional material and such. Under the changed scenario, ad slots would be auctioned with the highest bidder getting the slots.
Messenger boasts of 1.2 billion monthly active users, making it one of the single largest messaging platforms in operation in the world. Now with ads becoming mainstream in the home screen, it, however, could be the end of the year for the same to reach all its billion-plus users.
Facebook also hosts 70 million businesses and the move to allow ads on Messenger follows a crucial business strategy of integrating the 1.2 billion Messenger users to the businesses. That makes for a win-win situation for all. The businesses will also have the option to send paid messages to users.
The ad though will be subjected to the same policies that govern the selection of ads on Facebook and Instagram. Basically, that means only those ads will likely be shown to you for which you might have evinced an interest.
A similar monetizing plan is also reported to be in the works for WhatsApp, the other Facebook-owned messaging platform with a billion-plus user base. Maybe we will get to hear on that sometime soon now that Messenger is off the hook.