Facebook is planning on introducing paid commercials in Messenger within a few months, says a report from TechCrunch, which cites a leaked document the social media site sent to some of its biggest advertisers. In the document, the social media firm has signaled that businesses will be able to communicate with their customers directly starting in Q2.
Facebook making Messenger more useful
Such a move will be compatible with the social giant’s move to make Messenger the usual way for customers to chat with businesses for every little thing from shopping to customer support. What’s good is that Facebook will not allow business to directly contact just any user or users who have liked their page; only those who have voluntarily initiated a conversation can be sent ads.
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Businesses Messenger handles will become searchable on the platform only if they achieve a 90% response rate to messages within 24 hours over the previous week, the document states. The ads will possibly inform customers about a flash sale, free gift, or product launch or deliver a new video or GIF. They may also follow up with retargeting style reminders.
Facebook refused to comment on the subject but told TechCrunch, “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.”
At the same time, it’s also working to multiply the number of businesses that use Messenger as a customer service platform.
Concise URL to replace 800 numbers
What’s unclear is the form the Messenger advertisements will take. TechCrunch believes businesses could use the ads for the promotion of sales, introduction of new products, and maintenance of communication with customers who considered buying products but didn’t follow through. Facebook will probably disclose more on the subject at its F8 developer conference in April.
Facebook is also releasing a new concise URL which, when clicked, instantly opens up a chat thread with a business. The short link is practically the next-generation version of an 800 number. For instance, in place of calling 1-800-DRESSES, users will be able to just click a link like fb.com/msg/dresses and chat with a customer service agent.
With 800 million monthly active users, Messenger is one of Facebook’s most popular and fastest growing social media outlets, yet the social network has never made profits from it directly, and these new ads could just be the beginning.