Facebook Plans to Monetize Messenger; Will Allow Businesses to Send Ads
A leaked document revealed that Facebook will start making money with Messenger. The document stated that the new plan will be launched in the second quarter of this year, allowing advertisers to send their ads, including sale announcements or product information, with Facebook's Messenger.
The document was obtained by TechCrunch from a private, verified source. It was sent to some of Facebook's selected advertisers, informing them of the new business plan and explained some preparation that could get them to participate sending ads to users via Messenger.
Facebook then told TechCrunch that they don't comment on rumor or speculation. "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 message of any type," they stated, suggesting that even if there are going to be ads, Facebook are going to be very careful in managing it for a positive user experience.
To be able to send ads to customers, businesses will have to first start message threads with their customers. In other words, a business would not be able to send advertisements to anyone that it has not already in contact with. With the document, Facebook is encouraging brands to try to start a message thread with consumers so that they could later send ads to those users when the feature launch officially.
This ad in Messenger could be considered as a part of an ongoing process in monetizing one of Facebook's fastest-growing product. Last year, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg already stated that Facebook was testing ads in Messenger. According to Forbes, a year ago Facebook also announced "Business on Messenger", which allows businesses to offer personalized services to customers via Messenger after customers have placed an order. And it all started when Facebook first began allowing users to message businesses' pages in 2011.
According to Business Insider, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said last year that once it gets enough business using Messenger, it will start creating new ways to make them pay. This move could be considered as one of the social media's way to monetize its messaging feature.
Facebook has not clearly denied or confirmed regarding the information on the leaked documents. However, it should be noted that Facebook did aim to monetize its Messenger, especially with more businesses using the feature. The leaked document, which was sent to Facebook's main advertisers, revealed that the new feature would be launched in the second quarter this year. Meanwhile, businesses are encouraged to start message threads with potential customers in order to allow them to send ads to them later.