Recently, Facebook has begun placing autoplay video ads in their standalone messaging app, Messenger. Facebook first begun inserting ads into Messenger a year and a half ago, but up until this point they had only been static ads. Stefanos Loukakos, the head of Facebook Messenger’s ad business, confirmed that video ads started appearing for people on Monday, June 18th.
Loukakos has confirmed that they are aware how video ads may negatively impact the user experience, and they have not yet determined whether the ads are here to stay or not. That will be determined largely by changes in user behavior over time.
A Facebook spokesperson had this to say:
“Top priority for us is user experience. So we don’t know yet [if these will work]. However, signs until now, when we tested basic ads, didn’t show any changes with how people used the platform or how many messages they send. Video might be a bit different, but we don’t believe so.”
Autoplay video ads will play without sound unless manually tapped on, but some think it will still lead to a more intrusive feeling for Messenger users.
With the sheer number of instant messaging apps available today, it will be interesting to see if autoplay ads will force users to other platforms.
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