According to new reports, Facebook may be considering putting advertisements into its Messenger service.
A leaked document obtained by TechCrunch has revealed that Facebook may be looking to monetize Messenger with ads. According to the document, which was sent to advertisers, Facebook will be launching ads in Messenger in Q2 2016. With this change, businesses will be able to send ads as messages to people who have previously initiated a chat thread. The document urges businesses to get consumers to start messages now to make this feature usable when it launches later this year. The document also revealed a URL short link fb.com/msg/ which opened a chat thread with a business; this link has since been removed but not before Facebook confirmed its existence. "We don't comment on rumor or speculation. That said, our aim with Messenger is to create a high quality, engaging experience for 800 million people around the world, and that includes ensuring people do not experience unwanted messages of any type," said Facebook in a statement on these reports. Facebook has declined to comment further.
News that Facebook may be planning to monetize its Messenger service goes against what the company has previously said. When Facebook acquired WhatsApp back in 2014, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, "I don’t personally think ads are the right way to monetize messaging." In 2012, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum wrote a blog post on the matter, saying, "Advertising isn’t just the disruption of aesthetics, the insults to your intelligence and the interruption of your train of thought." Koum added that it was also a waste of engineering resources.
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