Facebook announced Tuesday that it would begin beta testing ad blocks on the Facebook Messenger homepage worldwide after seeing “promising results from Australia and Thailand.”
By the end of 2017, most users should expect to see the new advertising option on display in the Messenger app. Sponsored content will appear in between conversations in the app, and will be integrated into the design to adjust to and accommodate different phone sizes.
The company says it will take into account “how many threads a user has, the size of their phone’s physical screen and the pixel density of the display,” according to TechCrunch, in order to determine the size of advertising on any individual phone.
Advertisers should expect Facebook to roll out the new feature by August. The development will include allowing advertisers to purchase space in Messenger as part of Facebook’s automatic placement, which includes space in Instagram, the Facebook app, and Facebook’s Audience Network.
The social media network has been testing some form of Messenger ad display since January, when it rolled out a horizontal carousel design for sponsored content. However, a new redesign changes it to display one ad at a time in the inbox, and integrates it more seamlessly in between conversation threads.
Last April, the company began testing Sponsored Messages, which will allow a company bot or representative to reach out to a user who has contacted the company in the past. This means that users who interact with companies on Facebook may find those companies begin to initiate conversations with the user instead.
In 2015, the company rolled out chatbots and messenger accounts for individual companies, which allow users to have a conversation with a bot or representative from a company through Messenger.
Dennis Yu, CTO of MlitzMetrics, said the rollout is probably part of Facebook’s effort to make shopping through Messenger easier, according to TechCrunch. Facebook has developed an in-app payment system that allows someone to transfer money to other users, including companies a user is making a purchase from.
Stan Chudnovsky, Messenger’s head of product, said to VentureBeat that while advertising is “not necessarily everything… it’s definitely how we’re going to be making money right now.”
[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]