Messenger users could soon find themselves navigating through a sea of advertisements to find their conversations - here's why.
A recently leaked Facebook document has confirmed the worst: the company will launch ads on its widely used Messenger app sometime in the second quarter of 2016. According to a report from TechCrunch, a secret but verified source confirmed that businesses will be allowed to send ads to anyone who had previously started a chat thread with that company.
With almost a billion users worldwide, it comes as little surprise that Facebook would seek to generate more revenue from its Messenger app. But does this mean the end of uncluttered, easy-to-read message threads that only you and your friends can access?
The document recommended that business owners and their social media teams do a final push to get people to send them messages before ads are rolled out later this year. It also revealed that Facebook launched a URL short link that instantly initiates a chat thread with a business, fb.com/msg/.
As with most rumors and speculation about the activities of Facebook, the company responded to inquiries that they “Don’t comment on rumor or speculation. 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.”
Maybe this time will be different. Facebook has suggested that it won’t clutter up peoples’ inboxes with spam advertisements by only allowing companies to advertise on the app once a person has started a chat on their own volition. An influx of spam and annoying messages could result in millions of users flocking from the app, and it would be in Facebook’s best interest to keep Messenger ads as unobtrusive as possible.
The move could turn out to be a good one – customers who may otherwise not know how to reach a company could initiate a conversation through Messenger, and by virtue of their initial interest would continue to receive ads from that company. Just no spam, please.