Facebook Messenger users will soon start seeing more ads.
The social networking giant announced on Tuesday that is expanding a test of home tab ads in its Messenger mobile app that first started in Australia and Thailand in January. In those limited tests, Facebook placed a small number of ads on the Messenger's mobile app home tab.
Facebook now plans to start rolling out Messenger ads globally over the next few weeks. Later this month, the company said, "a small percent of consumers globally" will start seeing those ads and that the number of users impacted will increase gradually over time.
For Facebook Messenger's more than 1.2 billion monthly active users, the new ads will appear only on the home tab of their mobile app and not in their conversations. However, Facebook Messenger already lets businesses have conversations with users who click on their ads in the Messenger app, as well as on Instagram and in Facebook's News Feed. Businesses can also send sponsored messages to users with whom they have an existing conversation in Messenger.
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When Facebook started testing ads on Messenger there was some concern that the feature would make the service less user-friendly, with the ads taking up a large portion of the mobile app's home tab. But a company spokesperson noted that the new expansion follows "promising tests" from the smaller trial earlier this year.
The test comes as Facebook tries to maximize its money making, with ads representing the bulk of its total revenue. In May, Facebook reported a 51% bump in ad revenue (to almost $7.9 billion) in its most recent fiscal quarter.