Facebook has announced “a very small test in Australia and Thailand” that lets businesses place ads on the home screen of its Messenger app.
Eddie Zhang, product manager for Facebook Messenger, said a business can put an ad in an area of Messenger below your recent conversations.
This is similar to how Facebook displays birthday notifications, said Zhang.
“No one will see an ad in a conversation without clicking on an ad experience on the Messenger home screen or starting a conversation with a brand – these test ads won’t originate in your conversations.”
Hinting at WhatsApp’s future
In November, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hinted that the company would monetise its Messenger service by allowing ads and suggested that WhatsApp would follow suit.
Zuckerberg said the progression from viable product to making money requires:
- Build a great consumer experience and get it to scale.
- Give people a way to “organically” communicate with businesses.
- Give businesses “tools to reach those people”.
Instagram is into the third phase, Messenger into the second, and WhatsApp was in the first stage, said Zuckerberg in 2016.
Work on the next phase of WhatsApp’s development would begin in 2017, he said.