Asim Naqvi
News & Views
Facebook rolls out ads within Messenger

A wise man once said: ‘In God we trust, everyone else bring data’.

And Facebook sure does bring a lot of data and great numbers to the table. Hear this, advertisers: the social networking giant now boasts over 2 billion users worldwide, out of which 1 billion currently use Facebook Messenger for chat. What’s even more exciting is that 1 billion messages are sent to brands monthly by fans and customers alike.

From messaging to a marketplace, from a video platform to news publisher, Facebook has been exploring and shaping the future of the social media industry. The purchases of Instagram, WhatsApp, Occulus VR, Ascenta and the development of Messenger as an independent product show Facebook’s dedication to diversification and a mobile-first strategy.

As a tech company, Facebook is in a mature phase, which challenges management to find new ways to make money and bring scale. In line with this objective, Facebook is gearing up to bring ads to a new territory: Messenger.

Facebook already provides other ways for businesses to reach customers via Messenger, including News Feed ads that take users into a chat session, and retargeted sponsored messages. With the latest ad launch, the social network has rolled out display formats which will allow brands to be at the front and center of Messenger’s home screen.

In my opinion, this is a great new frontier to explore for advertisers, but users might not share the excitement. As marketers, my team at Ogilvy and I look forward to integrating Messenger within our brand plans and campaigns. However, how precise targeting can get in order to support a user’s interest and affinity before showing the ad, and how experiential, interactive and native the ads is to the platform’s interface, will decide the fate of Messenger ads.

It should be now be easier than ever to get in touch with your business, which is a great opportunity for brands, especially across the fashion, travel and luxury industries. As long as Facebook and marketers alike keep user experience as their key priority, Messenger has the potential to be a great platform for future marketing endeavors. With conversations at the heart of it all, the platform’s ease of use over email or phone make this an exciting time to experiment with Messenger.

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