Facebook Messenger ads are more disruptive and more expensive than News Feed ads

Anne Freier

In Mobile Advertising. September 21, 2018

Roughly 126.3 million people are predicted to be using the messaging app Facebook Messenger in 2018. By 2022, eMarketer expects that figure to reach 138.1 million.

But are ads on the messaging platform actually worth it?

Ads on Messenger aren’t too different from those on Facebook’s News Feed. Formats include photo, video, carousel and slideshows. Retargeting is also an option. Arguably, the benefit of Messenger ads is that they could start a conversation between a customer and a brand leading to a more personalised experience.

A survey by Vibes among US smartphone users previously found out that generally more people used Messenger to communicate with brands than other messaging apps.

However, overall ad impressions on Messenger are still far behind those on Facebook’s News Feed and Instagram.

A Barclays report noted that there had been 7 billion ad impressions on Facebook Messenger in 2017 compared to 15.6 trillion on Facebook and 611 billion on Instagram.

Additionally, the report unveiled that Messenger ads were more expensive than News Feed ads at $3 CPM, but cheaper than Instagram rates.

Furthermore, there has been some debate over whether Facebook Messenger should contain ads in the first place. After all, many smartphone users already perceive ads as intrusive.

“Messenger ads can be very interruptive and a little bit invasive,” said Liz Cole, VP at Digitas. “The analogy I would suggest is that a display ad on Facebook’s Feed is like advertising on the radio. But a display ad on Messenger is like advertising in the middle of a phone call. Advertisers need to recognise that and respect it.”

Although the social network previously promised to focus on user experience, it remains to be seen if ads on Messenger can perform the way some advertisers may be expecting them to.