A test in Australia and Thailand this week may lead to more ads from the folks at Facebook. This time, they’re testing adding advertisements to its Messenger app.
“This means that a business is able to place an ad in an area of Messenger below your recent conversations, similar to how we surface birthday notifications or where we let you know if a friend is currently active on Messenger,” Eddie Zhang, Facebook Product Manager said.
Zhang said users are already connecting with businesses on Messenger, citing over 1 billion messages sent to businesses from user every month.
“For the Messenger community, it may enhance the discovery of new experiences to make it seamless to interact with businesses on their terms, ” Zhang said. For businesses, it could offer a new way to surface their products and services to current and potential customers.”
In other words…
In other words, we think we found a place to run more ads and make some more money.
Ads will target users, but Facebook promises that the ads will not gather or use information from messages to target ads. It would be pretty creepy to be talking to a buddy about his new phone and have an ad pop up for the thing you’re talking about.
“We don’t want to even risk (invading user privacy)…That’s why we are going to try on a very small scale and see how people react.” – Stan Chudnovsky, Head of Product for Messenger (via Recode)
Coincidences are bound to happen, though, and some ads will show up that just happen to be about subjects being discussed. People talking on their phones and seeing ads related to their conversations on Facebook spurred conspiracy theories that got a lot of media attention, forcing Facebook to forcefully deny it was listening in.