There’s literally no escape from ads on Facebook. On Tuesday, the company revealed its latest feature to help brands target you on Messenger. Facebook is starting to allow businesses to send you sponsored messages via Messenger if you’ve interacted with them in the past. Considering Messenger is home to more than 30,000 bots, the process will largely be automated.
In order to not alienate users with a feature that sounds an awful lot like spam, Facebook is putting some controls in your hands. For example, if you receive an unwanted message, you can choose to block it, or the account that sent it to you.
Facebook is also rolling out News Feed ads that link to direct messages to all businesses. This type of promotional content basically directs you to a Messenger chat with the brand when you click on it.
“We believe that the combination of driving people from News Feed into a Messenger experience, and having an additional opportunity to re-engage with sponsored messages is a game changer,” said David Marcus, VP of Facebook Messenger, at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon.
Facebook began expanding upon Messenger with the launch of bots in February, bringing the service closer to its Asian counterparts such as Line, and WeChat. It later introduced the ability to make payments to chatbots for services in partnership with the likes of Stripe, PayPal, Braintree, Visa, American Express, and MasterCard.
Combined with its payment services, Facebook’s latest ads give it another valuable monetization option. The move should please investors who were worried by the company’s recent warning that it could not keep up its ad revenue momentum. Messenger users, on the other hand, may not be as excited for the update.