Facebook starts placing ads in Messenger

Following beta tests in Australia and Thailand, Facebook has today announced Messenger Ads will start being rolled out across the world.

The ads will appear in a user’s ‘home tab’ and use the same data sources as other Facebook advertising products with a company spokesperson assuring Mumbrella users’ messages won’t be scanned for targeting purposes.

“Messenger ads are going global but still in beta test phase for the rest of the world,” Sophie Blachford, Facebook’s APAC product lead for Messenger, told Mumbrella. “We’ve been testing this product in Australia and Thailand since January so this is a global expansion.”

Blachford wouldn’t disclose how many Australian business tested the app however participants include retailer David Jones. While the service will be run as a beta globally, it will be available to all Aussie Facebook advertisers.

“We’re really happy with the results we’ve seen and it being a really additive experience to Messenger and the way people use the app and consume Messenger,” Blachford continued when asked how users reacted to advertising in their message streams.

The advertisements will vary depending on how the user is engaging with the app, the size of their device and how many Messenger threads they have open.

“We made sure we aren’t impacting user experience and there were no significant changes of time to how people were spending in the Messenger app every day and they way they are using it,” Blachford explained.

“We’ve been really closely monitoring peoples’ daily use of Messenger and we’ve seen no drops in the time we’ve been testing it. We’ve also been running lots of user focus groups and talking to consumers is a really important part of this and we’re really confident in the experience based on what we’ve seen here.”


The adverts are an extension of existing ad units and will be available in both Ads Manager and Power Editor with the Facebook spokesperson insisting users’ message data will not be used for targeting.

“Messenger Ads are another extension of the ads out there, we use the same targeting as for Facebook which is also used for Instagram as well. So the same options available for any Facebook campaign are available on Messenger. They are not stand-alone ad units you can buy they are extensions of Facebook campaigns.

“They are not impacted by posts in feed or conversations in people’s inboxes, above or below the home tab. So we’re not using the contents to inform the ad targeting. We have the same data and privacy policies in Messenger as Facebook.

“People’s privacy is absolutely paramount to us,” Blachford stated.

The adverts will complement the service’s Click to Messenger and Sponsored Messenger ads, which Facebook has been offering to advertisers for bots and one-on-one communication for brands.

At the moment the Messenger ads will only feature single image and carousel advertisements. However Facebook is testing video for future release.

At the recent Mumbrella360 Summit, Steve Weiss of New York’s Mute Six described how to build successful Facebook advertising campaigns. His advice for marketers was to watch how the service rolls out new features like Messenger Ads.

“Stay on top by staying current, Facebook is continuously iterating their platform whether it’s collection ads or dynamic product ads for prospecting.”

Weiss advised: “Every single day they are iterating so I highly recommend everyone stays active, when they announce a new feature launch something immediately.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.