Facebook Starts Testing Ads in Messenger for iOS

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Carousel-style ads will be displayed to users in the first part of the limited testing

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) announced that it has started limited testing ads in its standalone messaging app, Messenger. The announcement was made by Stan Chudnovsky, head of product for Messenger.

The limited testing is being conducted in Australia and Thailand for now, before it heads out to other countries and regions. As part of the testing process, users on Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS with Messenger in Australia and Thailand would have to choose between ad cards from five different advertisers. The ads will appear on the Messenger homepage, and not inside chat windows, which should assure users that the ads are not displayed based on data from chat windows.

On Wednesday, CFO Dave Wehner announced during an earnings report that the total ad load per user was set to max out, and that the balance between organic and ad content on every user’s News Feed was about to be tipped out of balance. Therefore, Facebook had to think of another way to display more ads to user. Now, it seems the answer to that question is the Messenger homepage.

Homepage ads are certainly new for Messenger, as Facebook explores new avenues of revenue generation from ads. Chudnovsky is aware that user privacy could be affected negatively by these ads, but he feels “until you try, you are never going to find out” and so Facebook is set to start trying with a small group of users in Australia and Thailand.

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