So, is it spammy?

There’s been a lot of talk online in New Zealand this week about Facebook and their ‘new’ ads to the Facebook messenger app.

Overall, people seem to be really annoyed by the fact that Facebook has now added advertising to the messenger function. As it often the case when we are faced with a type of new advertising.

Although this feature is still relatively new, it’s actually been around in a number of other countries for a while now. Only this week has it been rolled out to the New Zealand audience (although some people have reported having it for a while).

Advertisers had probably noticed and already been aware of this feature, as it’s been showing up as a placement option when creating ads in the Facebook Ads manager for some time. However, with that being said, we haven’t actually had access to it in the live Facebook environment to our domestic audience within New Zealand, until now.

It will be very interesting to see what happens and how people respond to this over time. My thoughts are that although people feel quite overwhelmed at the moment, and annoyed by the fact that they are now getting advertising in their Facebook messenger (as well as their Facebook feed), that these feelings will change as we get used to the fact that the advertising is there (possibly even somewhat subconsciously ignore the fact that it).

Another thing that I’ve noticed Facebook has done with this, as unlike the newsfeed (where the advertisement shows up in the second placement spot when you scroll through your newsfeed), on your Facebook messenger it only shows up in spot number five, which makes me think that Facebook has paid some attention to the fact that they don’t want to annoy people too much by putting advertising in their messenger.

So what does this mean for advertisers?

As an advertiser the number one thing you need to know is how to turn messenger ads on and off. Then, when you feel ready to have a go at messenger advertising, you can see how it works in the live environment and how your target audience responds to it.

Do you use it, or do you turn it off?
If you want to make sure you’re not using it while people adjust to seeing these ads, the most important thing is to be using Ads Manager to set up your advertising for Facebook and Instagram. Within ad manager, you have the option at the ad set level to choose the placements. Facebook defaults to automatic placements, which will place your ad everywhere possible. You most likely want to maintain control over your ad placements.

Right now, I recommend people make sure that they are using this function within its manager, to turn off the messenger app Ads while people adjust to seeing Facebook ads in their messenger feed.