Facebook Announces Sponsored Ads for its Messenger

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Social giant Facebook has upped the ante of brand consumer interaction by allowing businesses to send ads on its instant messaging app. However, businesses can only send “sponsored messages” to those users who have contacted the brand previously.

Clarifying an worries regarding spamming, David Marcus, Facebook’s vice president of messaging, said that – “Of course, people using Messenger shouldn’t worry about getting spammed, because the starting principles still remain: businesses can’t send a sponsored message to threads that weren’t previously opened by their customers or prospects, and users have full control to block messages or people/businesses they no longer want to hear from.”

Users who have contacted a brand previously will be able to converse with a “chatbot.” The interactive experience with the chatbot, which will be largely automated, has been designed such that a user’s questions and queries can be answered by the chatbot which can also aid in selling goods and services to the user.

Sponsored messages can include a link and a picture. However, these messages cannot be modified to run on Facebook or Instagram at the same time. Furthermore, brands will now be able to run an ad on Facebook which is then linked to the brand’s Messenger account. This move will give the ad better exposure and encourage conversations about the brand.

Brands using sponsored messages will be charged by Facebook for their ads anytime it appears on the user’s screen in their Messenger inbox. Facebook will also charge the brand for ad impression regardless of whether or not the userclicked on the sponsored message.

Currently both Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp dominate the market of messaging apps across the globe. Each platform has more than 1 billion plus users which means Facebook’s revenue generation easily spills into billions of dollars. Now by allowing brands to display sponsored messages in its messenger, Facebook has further reinforced revenue generation by targeting users in a space where the chances of blocking or screening out ads is much less.

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