Display Ads in Facebook Messenger Rolled Out Globally
Facebook recently announced that they’re expanding their beta of Messenger display ads on a global scale following successful tests in Australia and Thailand. According to Facebook, 1.2 billion people use their Messenger app each month, which means this new update gives brands an additional opportunity to utilize Facebook’s vast audience size and targeting capabilities.
The new ads in Messenger won’t appear in actual conversations users have with friends; instead they’ll appear in the main inbox tab. According to Facebook, where ads appear in the inbox depends on how many “threads a user has, the size of their phone’s physical screen and the pixel density of the display.” The original test for Messenger ads began this past January and featured carousel ads, which have since been updated to the single-image horizontal display ad.
As advertising on Facebook is becoming more and more popular, available inventory on the News Feed is starting to run out. The expansion to Messenger is an attempt to offer more space for advertisements and to avoid a possible slowdown in advertising revenue. The new placement will be a part of the automatic Facebook placements, in addition to the current placements in the News Feed, Instagram, and the Audience Network. Users are not able to turn off Messenger ads, but users can hide or report ads, just like they would in the News Feed.
When users click on an ad in their Messenger app, they will be taken to a webpage that’s rendered in Messenger’s internal browser, meaning users do not leave the app. The Messenger ads can also be bought in a Click To Message format, which lets users easily start conversations with brands. This gives brands a great advantage for reaching those fans in the future with Sponsored Messages because a chat has already been initiated.
What Facebook Messenger Ads Means for Marketers
This placement is excellent for brands promoting ads with the CTA of “message us now.” Because users will already be in their Messenger app when they see the ads, they may be more inclined to click and start a conversation with a brand about a product or service.
A potential downside of this update is that even though placing ads in the messenger app sounds like the perfect way to leverage Facebook’s audience size and sophisticated targeting, the placements may cause unwanted disruptions. The Messenger app is more personal than the parent Facebook app. People use Messenger deliberately for personal conversations, not to just peruse their feed. Some might find the ads even more intrusive into their personal lives, or they might not appreciate some of the content they see. Marketers need to take this into consideration when determining which type of ads they are placing in users Messenger inbox.
It’s important to remember that Messenger inbox will be one of the automatic placements, along with the News Feed, Audience Network, and Instagram, so if you do not want ads to appear in Messenger, it must be deselected from placement options.
Keep in mind this placement isn’t necessarily going to reach everyone on Facebook as not all users have downloaded the separate Messenger app. It will, however, serve as an alternative touchpoint for the audience identified in ad sets. As always, testing is important to see if Messenger ads are resonating with fans and worth the dollars being spent.
The new placement is slowly rolling out to users over the next month. Keep an eye on placement options when purchasing ads as it will be available to users soon, if not already. Although ads are only appearing in the Facebook Messenger inbox, this could be an indicator that Messenger ads could roll out to Instagram in the future.
IMAGE SOURCE: Facebook