Facebook has announced that it is adding ads to the Messenger home screen in a beta test that is rolling out to users worldwide in the weeks to come. Facebook has previously tested Messenger home screen ads in Thailand and Australia.
“[Advertising is] not necessarily everything, but it’s definitely how we’re going to be making money right now,” Messenger head of product Stan Chudnovsky told VentureBeat. “And going forward, there are some other business models we are exploring as well, but they’re all around ads one way or another.”
However, Chudnovsky said the company doesn’t currently have a set time for when ads will shift from beta to a complete roll out to all Messenger users. “We’ll start slow,” he said. “When the average user can be sure to see them we truly don’t know because we’re just going to be very data-driven and user feedback-driven on making that decision.”
The larger push towards ads is aimed at connecting the 1.2 billion people that use Messenger with the 60 million businesses registered on Facebook. As part of this initiative, Facebook rolled out chat bots on Messenger back in April to offer businesses more ways to serve their customers.