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With Facebook Messenger Ads En Route, WhatsApp May Eventually Get The Same Treatment

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Now that we've gotten used to ads on Facebook and to some degree on Instagram, more ads are coming on more Facebook properties such as Messenger and WhatsApp.

In fact, it's already been confirmed that ads are definitely coming to Facebook's Messenger application. In a leaked document sent out to the social media company's biggest advertisers, it's revealed that businesses on Facebook will be able to send ads as messages to users.

We won't be seeing ads pop up in conversations between ourselves and our parents, however. In the same leaked document, Facebook advises companies to try and get consumers to start message threads with them so those very same companies can start sending us ads when the feature does launch.

In short, users will have to get in touch with a business on Facebook first before that business can initiate an ad-filled conversation with a user.

And between Messenger and WhatsApp, WhatsApp has the greatest reach due to its stronghold of at least 1 billion users (only Facebook can claim the same impressive user base).

"That's nearly one in seven people on Earth who use WhatsApp each month to stay in touch with their loved ones, their friends and their family," WhatsApp says.

As a result, if Facebook plans to incorporate advertising into Messenger, it would also make sense to do the same inside WhatsApp, since both are essentially messaging platforms. Moreover, WhatsApp got rid of its $1 per year subscription fee and it's going to need to make up for that, too.

But that's the difference between Messenger and WhatsApp. Messenger can hook on to the business pages already existing on Facebook. As for WhatsApp, all it has are users' loved ones, friends and their family. There are no business-centric WhatsApp accounts. The company does plan, however, to test B2C accounts for companies.

"We will test tools that allow you to use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organizations that you want to hear from ... That could mean communicating with your bank about whether a recent transaction was fraudulent, or with an airline about a delayed flight," WhatsApp explains.

Should this be the case, this would then open up new channels for businesses to get in touch with their customers and vice versa. Before that happens, however, we'll most likely see the rollout featured on Messenger first and better incorporated inside WhatsApp once all the wrinkles have been ironed out.

Photo: Jan Persiel | Flickr

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