Thursday, July 13, 2017

Ads on Facebook Messenger

Just when you thought you were safe from the ads, Facebook Messenger is now beginning to roll them out after beta testing in Australia and Thailand.  Thankfully, these ads will not be too overly intrusive, and I believe that is a good strategy.  However I'm not sure how these ads will be received as a whole, given this is just one more former safe space being taken over by the unstoppable force that is advertising.

The sponsored messages will follow an auction based model and will have some of the same user-targeting capabilities that Facebook and Instagram have.  When you are going into the app to send a message to your friend(s), do you think you are likely to click into a message from a company? Potentially, if you're being offered some kind of discount and it is clearly visible through the home screen without clicking into the message, but more often than not, I believe people will find these to be intrusive.

There must be a point at which ads and advertisers cross an unforgivable line, even by our standards which seemingly diminish by the day, but I don't believe this is that time, given that sponsored messages can only be sent to users a company has already had a conversation with.  However, given the increasing creepiness of ads that know what you're thinking before you even thought about it, I believe its possible a number of users will reach their breaking points soon enough.

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