As Facebook is looking for more places to push its ads, Messenger is now getting autoplay video ads in private conversations.
Just to be clear, Facebook had already introduced ads to Messenger early last year in a bid to milk its standalone messaging app for some more money. Since it's a free app, the ad-supported model made sense, but those ads were static.
Facebook Messenger Autoplay Video Ads
The difference now is that Facebook Messenger is getting video ads that play automatically, appearing right next to private conversations in users' inbox. Since its flagship Facebook app already has ads galore, the company needs to expand its ad presence on more of its platforms.
Facebook Messenger is one of the most popular services of its kind with a slew of monthly active users worldwide, and so far it has not been as crowded by ads as the social network. That's about to change soon, as Recode reports that Facebook started rolling out autoplay videos in Messenger on Monday, June 18.
Autoplay Video Ads In Private Messenger Conversations
While Facebook's move to insert autoplay video ads in Messenger is not completely unexpected, some users might not like the new changes. Users might feel that having such ads embedded in their inbox is annoying or intrusive and might have a negative impact on the overall Facebook Messenger experience.
There's no shortage of messaging apps currently available on the market and Facebook itself also has WhatsApp, in addition to Messenger. WhatsApp is not showing any autoplay video ads, at least not yet, so it would not be surprising if some users chose to migrate to a different platform.
Top Priority: User Experience
On the other hand, Stefanos Loukakos, Facebook Messenger's chief of the ad business, says that he's taken the risks into account. He will keep an eye on how users react to the change to determine whether these new ads are turning people away.
Loukakos tells Recode that delivering a high-quality user experience is a top priority for the company, and it doesn't know at this point whether the autoplay video ads in Messenger will prove to be a good idea or not.
"Signs until now, when we tested basic ads, didn't show any changes with how people used the platform or how many messages they send," says Loukakos. "Video might be a bit different, but we don't believe so."
Based on how users react to the new autoplay video ads, Facebook might decide to leave them or pull them from Messenger.