Facebook owns two of the biggest mobile messenger services, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. For the later, they paid $4.59 billion to get it, so it is not surprising that they are looking for ways to monetize them more effectively.
Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s vice president of engineering for ads and pages, said, “Consumers are naturally behaving with businesses [on Facebook Messenger]. Marketers can take greater advantage of that.”
The idea of working in ads and service bots to messenger services like this isn’t new, but Facebook hasn’t fully capitalized on it so far. With their position as a leader in the mobile messenger app industry, it looks like they are ready to focus on this area.
As Facebook itself starts to reach market saturation (maybe? People have been predicting this for years) it really makes sense for them to start turning to some of their other properties to increase their ad revenue. With millions of daily users, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are obvious choices.
Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook said, “Our goal as a company is to make your Newsfeed experience great… If we can make advertising work because it is great content for people, that’s where the win is.”
She was referring to Facebook’s ability to turn advertisements from a disruption on a website to a part of the overall content on Facebook’s NewsFeed. Of course, some of the ads are still a little annoying, but overall most people agree that they aren’t a significant problem. The challenge of integrating advertisements into a mobile messenger service will be similar, and if any company can do it, it is Facebook.