Autoplaying video ads are set to interrupt your private chats on Facebook Messenger
Facebook has announced that ‘from next week’ autoplaying video ads will start appearing in Messenger.
The firm wills start testing the feature on a small group of users before rolling it out to all users globally.
In a statement released to Quartz, a spokesperson for Facebook said that users will “remain in control of their experience”.
However, it initially looks like the autoplaying videos will be displayed whether users like it or not, with no option for people to opt out or disable the autoplaying ads.
“We will be rolling out video ads gradually and thoughtfully. People that use Messenger each month are our top priority and they will remain in control of their experience,” a spokesperson for Facebook told Quartz.
Facebook first introduced advertisements to Messenger last year, but the addition of video ads is a new development.
The move is aimed at Facebook further monetising its messaging platform, which now boasts 1.3 billion users globally.
At its F8 conference held earlier this year, Facebook showcased a new augmented reality feature that allows Messenger users to see products as if they already have them, such as a TV set mounted to a wall or a car parked on a driveway. The feature will almost certainly be used to attract advertisements from retailers.
Speaking to ReCode, Stefanos Loukakos, who heads up Messenger’s ad business said: “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,”
“Video might be a bit different, but we don’t believe so,” he added.
While the company generated $41 billion in revenue last year, virtually all of that came from Facebook, where it is running out of space to display advertisements.
It seems one solution is to display more ads in Messenger.
It remains to be seen how people will react to having advertisements interspersed with their private conversations.
For those who don’t like the idea of having your chats bombarded with advertisements, one option could be to try Messenger LIte, the stripped down version of Facebook Messenger, where there are no ads, at least for now.