Targeted Ads Spread to Facebook Messenger

Technology > IT

Expect ads popping up in your private chats after Facebook announced the rollout of targeted ads for its instant messaging service.

"We'll now offer businesses around the world a way to use Facebook targeting to extend their reach to people in Messenger," the social network wrote in a blog post, Tuesday, July 11.  Facebook previously tested targeted advertising inside its Messenger app in Australia and Thailand.  

Thus, don't be surprised if you start seeing ads in the home tab of the Messenger mobile app. Clicking an ad will either send you to the advertiser's webpage or to a Messenger conversation with the company.

Facebook will start rolling out the new ads later this month to a "small percentage" of consumers around the world. The company plans to "slowly" start showing these ads to more people over time.

More than 1.2 billion people use Messenger every month. The launch "gives marketers an opportunity to expand the reach of their campaigns and drive more results," Facebook wrote.

Meanwhile, more “helpful distractions” are expected to butt in your online chats after Facebook Messenger's artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant “M” makes a comeback.  M can “eavesdrop” into your conversations, scan chat for keywords, and pop in with a suggestion.   

For example, if you’re discussing menu plans for a party with a friend, M would suggest that you look for a recipe using the Food Network chat extension. Once you click on the suggestion, the Food Network chat extension will pop up, letting you browse recipes or search for something to make, Messenger Product Manager Kemal El Moujahid said in a statement.

M can also remind you to save content in your Messenger conversations, jog your memory about people's birthdays, and suggest you make a voice or video call.

Photo by: via Flickr