Early this year, Facebook announced that it had reached over 800 million active users for its Facebook Messenger platform. Until now, Facebook hasn’t attempted to monetize this user base, but it seems that could change in the near future.
A leaked document that Facebook had sent to advertising partners reveals that the company is planning on introducing a unique form of ads to Facebook Messenger, according to TechCrunch, which obtained a copy of the document. Instead of the standard banner-style ad seen in many apps, the ads here would be sent directly to customers who have previously chatted with the business being advertised.
As part of its preparations for the rollout, Facebook has introduced a shortlink that, when clicked, instantly opens a chat thread with a business. The company has confirmed the existence of this link, but as for the rest of the document, nothing has been made public at this time.
“We don’t comment on rumor or speculation,” a Facebook representative told TechCrunch. “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.”
The document recommends that in order to have a healthy base of users to send ads to, businesses do what they can to get customers chatting with them. If you start seeing links on a company’s website to chat with them on Facebook Messenger, this could likely be the reason.
According to the document, these new ads are coming to Facebook Messenger in the second quarter of this year. Since these ads are only sent to users who have already sent messages to a company, it seems that Facebook wants to make sure users aren’t annoyed by them. As for whether or not this will actually be the case, we’ll have to wait and see.