Facebook Messenger, one of the most popular instant messaging platforms on mobile out there, is getting a new update that most users won’t like. The Facebook-owned messaging app is getting autoplay video ads built right next to your private and group chats. The feature was rolled out from Monday and Facebook executives state that the company will monitor user behaviour to determine whether it should continue with the format of advertising or shut it down.
In a statement to Recode, Stefanos Loukakos, head of advertising at Facebook Messenger, said, “Top priority for us is user experience. So we don’t know yet [if these will work]. However, signs until now, when we tested basic ads, didn’t show any changes with how people used the platform or how many messages they send.” He said that the company is aware of how intrusive these ads can be and user behaviour will be a major decider of making these video ads official in the future.
Previously, the Facebook Messenger app started testing ads for users on all supported mobile platforms back in July last year, but those were static in nature. However, with the flagship Facebook app running out of space to fit in more ads, CEO Mark Zuckerberg is evidently looking towards Messenger as the next big avenue. While the design and layout of the new video ads is expected to be streamlined to chat threads, they will expectedly take up a lot of screen real estate. The report also suggests video ads are more expensive and thus better for Facebook’s outlook.
Back in May this year, Facebook Messenger launched a new feature that makes use of augmented reality (AR) to help prospective shoppers check out products with a real-world view. While ads on messaging platforms are seen with a critical eye, Facebook believes targeting its 1.3 billion Messenger users is crucial for long-term growth of the Menlo Park-based social media giant.
Another one of Facebook’s billion-plus platforms, Instagram’s Stories tab, got ads back in January. Advertising is now shown on Instagram’s regular interface as well as on Instagram Stories.