A leaked document sent by Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) discloses that the company will release ads within its chat app, Messenger, during the first half of 2016. In response to the leak, the company’s spokesperson said that they do not comment on speculation or rumors.
As per the document, Facebook has made a URL short link (fb.com/msg/) that lets users immediately start a chat with businesses. Enterprises will be able to dispatch ads as messages to users who had earlier had a chat with the company.
Currently, Messenger has over 800 million monthly active users. Therefore, Facebook has to be careful that ads don’t adversely affect Messenger’s consumer growth or lead to users opting for the competitor’s chat apps. As per the document, the ads are designed to relate to a discussion already initiated by a user.
The document recommends that the enterprises should begin prompting consumers to message them so that the former will be able to dispatch ads to them once the ad feature is launched. Enterprises Messenger handles can be found with ease on Facebook and they have a high response rate.
Facebook first allowed users to message enterprises’ Pages five years ago. Ever since, the company roped in David Marcus, former PayPal president to head the messaging division in 2014, the social platform has progressed in making it simpler for users to communicate with businesses via chat.
Facebook launched its ‘Businesses on Messenger’ around a year ago, which facilitates enterprises to provide personalized services to clients through their chat app. The social media giant has also developed more eye-catching message buttons on business Pages. The company’s personal assistant, “M”, only available to a select group in the Bay Area facilitate users to make reservations in restaurants and also place orders through chats.
Facebook is not planning to let companies dispatch ad messages to just anybody or even to users who have clicked the like button on their Pages. Just those who have voluntarily communicated with an enterprise can be dispatched ads.
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO declared at the Ad Week in October 2015 that the company was trialing ads in Messenger. If introduced widely, these ads would be the social giant’s first major effort to specifically monetize Messenger.