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Can Facebook Messenger Make Money Via Ads?

Facebook Messenger is making tremendous strides recently as its popularity and use continues to grow. Recent reports show that Messenger holds 1.2 billion monthly active users as of April 2017, up from 1 billion in July 2016, which is an impressive 200 million user growth within a mere 8 month period. Needless to say these are some pretty impressive numbers, however what’s really interesting is how can Facebook let businesses take advantage of the popularity of Messenger. Is there a way that business owners can market using Facebook Messenger? Can Facebook Messenger make money via ads?

Since the launch of Messenger we have seen Facebook go through various different advertising tests with the platform. Currently we have 3 main advertising campaigns that can be setup. First off anyone can create a Facebook ad campaign that is intended to start a conversation via Messenger.  Simply setup a new ad campaign, choose Traffic as your campaign objective, and select Messenger as your destination. Combine your ads with a powerful welcome message and you have an interactive and responsive marketing campaign running within a few clicks!

Facebook Messenger Ad Campaigns

Then there are Sponsored Messages which let brands send message-style ads to people who have an existing conversation with them. These can feature a specific call-to-action pointing to a custom URL, and one photo. If you haven’t experienced these ads in the past, here’s what they look like:

And more recently we’ve seen Facebook start testing the integration of ad units directly on the Messenger home screen.

Facebook Messenger Ads Test

Clearly Facebook has been trying to develop a set of tools to let us market around and within Messenger, and rumors are that we will hear about even more advertising opportunities during the upcoming F8 conference. Frankly with the growth rate that Messenger has seen, and the dire need for outside-the-box marketing, it only makes sense for Facebook to focus on developing a proper set of advertising options around it. The Messenger platform gives business owners and marketers the ability to truly target user interactions and conversations – and I have no doubt that Facebook will do their best to capture that into a suite of tools for business owners and marketers everywhere.

Now before I get overly excited and carried away – I should probably mention that Facebook users aren’t particularly thrilled with ads. Big surprise. Most people usually aren’t. Luckily not all. As such Facebook has mentioned ads will not appear inside your conversation screen – for now anyway. This of-course doesn’t apply to Sponsored Messages (which only work on existing conversations anyway), or auto-reply messages that are sent after clicking a message link inside an ad. Personally – the ads you will interact with do not seem intrusive in any way, and they are only featured on one screen of the entire app. I think that once people get used to the placement these complaints will start to subside.

Keep an eye on our Social Media News section for any updates following the F8 conference. If any new advertising methods roll out featuring Messenger they will surely be mentioned there. And if you have ran a Facebook advertising campaign focused around Messenger feel free to share your opinions in the comments below!


About Michael Boguslavskiy

Michael Boguslavskiy is a full-stack developer & online presence consultant based out of New York City. He's been offering freelance marketing & development services for over a decade. He currently manages Rapid Purple - and online webmaster resources center; and Media Explode - a full service marketing agency.

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