It looks like Facebook is running out of space to run ads on its official app. Now the company is rolling out autoplay video ads on Messenger. While the company started placing ads in Messenger 18 months ago, they were only static and non-intrusive. Introducing video ads here means Facebook will be making more money out of them.
Autoplay video apps will start appearing in your inbox, right next to messages received from friends and family members. Facebook stated that it will start testing ads with only a few users in the start, but will roll them out to everybody soon. Quartz quoted a Facebook official stating, “We will be rolling out video ads gradually and thoughtfully,” further adding, “People that use Messenger each month are our top priority and they will remain in control of their experience.”
While users might be in control of the ads they see on the platform, they cannot completely disable it. Facebook is only allowing users to hide an already seen ad, report the ones they don’t like and even manage the ones that are specifically targeted towards them.
Facebook understands that adding autoplay ads to Messenger can take away from the app experience. Hence the company will be monitoring user behavior and how much they are affected by these ads. The head of Messenger ads business, Stefanos Loukakos said in a statement to Recode, “Top priority for us is user experience,” further stating, “So we don’t know yet [if these will work]. However, 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.”
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While Facebook has already got feedback from some users, the company is not stating if it is positive or negative just yet. It might have a better understanding once the feature rolls out to everybody. The autoplay ads will start rolling out to users, starting Monday.