After a successful testing phase early this year, Facebook has officially announced that display ads in the Messenger app are now available for all brands globally. As of July 11, the social networking site has started integrating ads into their formerly ad-free app Messenger. This allows brands to reach the app’s 1.2 billion monthly users and gives them the opportunity to engage with customers in a new, more efficient way.
What will these Messenger ads look like?
At Facebook’s annual developer conference last year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke about the company’s vision for the future of Messenger, stating that Facebook believes brands “should just be able to message a business in the same way that you message a friend. And you shouldn’t have to install a new app.”
This idea of an informal chat between a brand and consumer sounds great, but many are asking what this will look like in action. According to Facebook’s announcement, there are a few options available for brands looking to advertise on Messenger, including:
- Messenger ads – found in the home tab of Messenger. When people tap on an ad, they will be sent to the destination chosen during the ad’s creation. This can be your website or a Messenger conversation.
- Click to Messenger ads – takes full advantage of the personalized nature of messaging by driving people to a conversation after they interact with the ad in Facebook, Instagram or Messenger.
- Sponsored messages – allows businesses to re-engage with people who have started a conversation with them.
Display ads will appear in the home tab of Messenger, below the user’s recent conversations, and will include image thumbnails, text, and a link that will lead users to the company’s chosen destination.
Marketers will have these ads available in Ads Manager and Power Editor and are an additional placement option when a company runs ads on Facebook. As far as targeting goes, Messenger ads will have the same capabilities as Instagram and Facebook news feed.
In order to take full advantage of implementing ads in Messenger, it is important to note why users are choosing this type of interaction. People are reaching out to businesses over Messenger because it’s a direct channel for instant customer service.
How could my brand leverage Messenger Ads?
The ability to reach Messenger’s vast and growing audience is now something that companies of all sizes and technological abilities can take advantage of – and arguably should. Facebook states that people are sending more than 1 billion messages to brands per month, leading marketers to believe that ads in Messenger will be positively received among users.
Michiel Tops, General Manager of Marketing and Communications for Australian department store David Jones, has seen positive results from the testing phase of Messenger ads: “Messenger ads have been a powerful addition to our digital advertising campaigns, helping us reach our customers where they are already active and engaged. And thanks to Audience Network and now Messenger, we’re able to continue to optimize our advertising spend and further drive business results.”
What do Messenger ads mean for my brand’s customer?
Although brands may love the results, many app users feel hesitant about advertisements dominating the homepage of their most frequently used app. There is already some talk that these ads make the app less user-friendly because, in order to use key features, you first have to navigate through large display ads.
To reassure users, Facebook is promising that the ads will not interfere with their conversations. To begin chatting with a brand, the user has to initiate the conversation by clicking on the ad. Further, users have the option of hiding and reporting ads using the dropdown menu on the app.
Overall, Facebook’s willingness to display ads in Messenger is a good sign for all marketers, as it shows they are open to exploring new ways to advertise to their users rather than strictly focusing on existing placements.
What do you think about Facebook’s latest expansion of its Messenger ads? Tell us below in the comments!