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Facebook Messenger gets adverts added to app

Facebook Messenger gets adverts added to app Featured

Facebook is rolling out ads globally to the home page of its Messenger app.

The move follows tests of the feature in Australia and Thailand.

But Facebook is still describing the facility as being in "beta", indicating it may still tweak the service.

Last month, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg told shareholders he expected Messenger to become "a big business" within five years despite it not generating a "meaningful amount of revenue" yet.

He made a similar prediction for his other chat app, WhatsApp.

But despite changing WhatsApp's terms last year to permit businesses to send messages to users, Facebook has not yet revealed how it intends to deploy adverts within it.

Ads over bots

Messenger has more than 1.2 billion active users, according to Facebook.

For now, adverts will appear only in the app's inbox list of recent chats and not within the conversations themselves.

Tapping on an advert can bring up a relevant web page, allowing a retailer, for example, to sell their goods directly to the consumer.

But marketers can also opt to use the adverts to direct consumers to a conversation within Messenger instead.

Facebook's chief financial officer, David Wehner, has previously forecast that Facebook's advertising revenue growth rates would slow this year.

This was a result, he said, of a drop-off in the number of visits from desktop PCs to its products.

In addition, he said, the company wanted to avoid overloading its core Facebook and Instagram apps with paid-for content.

Introducing adverts to a product that had not featured them to date might therefore address investors' concerns.

But one company-watcher said the move represented a "plan B".

Additional Info

  • Origin: bbc/GhAgent