New Messenger Ads Are Coming

Meta appears to be on the verge of rolling out a new Messenger ads product that would allow advertisers to reach email subscribers. We’re a bit short on details, but let’s discuss what we know — and think we know.

The Details

In a recent announcement, Meta says that “select advertisers — for the first time – will soon be able to create, organize and send paid marketing messages on Messenger, using Ads Manager, to people who have opted-in to hearing from them.”

New Messenger Ads

This sounds a lot like Sponsored Messages, but that feature is being deprecated. In that case, you could reach people who had recently messaged your page. This is different because these ads can reach “people who have opted-in to hearing” from you.

It’s not clear if they mean an opt-in within Messenger or via email. But this could help clarify:

This follows an update… where we announced businesses using Ads Manager to send marketing messages on WhatsApp will have the option to provide Meta with their subscriber list and our AI systems will recommend the right subset of recipients based on the outcomes they care about the most.

That was for WhatsApp, but it sounds like this will apply to Messenger now, too. So, you could conceivably send ads to Messenger inboxes of those who opted into your email list.

This sounds potentially great as an advertiser, but I could also see it being problematic as a user. If someone gets your ad, can they opt out? Would that require the advertiser to remove them from their email list, or will these two remain separate?

I’m sure we’ll hear plenty more about this I the coming months.