Facebook to test auto-playing video ads on Messenger app

Facebook is looking to launch auto-playing video advertising for its Messenger platform. The ads will be rolled out next Monday to a small audience. However, should testing be successful, the company will be expanding Messenger video ads to more devices.

Quartz reported that the ad format starts to auto-play as soon as a user scrolls through their messages. The company has also affirmed that ads would be non-intrusive to the end user, being placed “thoughtfully”.

The social media giant has been gradually making changes to Messenger and previously introduced ads to the app and platform 18 months ago. Up until now, the company focused on display rather than video ads.

Monetising Messenger has been a long-time coming given that Facebook previously said it was running out of space for ads on its News Feed. At the same time, as more users and brands are tapping into Messenger it makes sense for Facebook to trial ads on it.

It is unlikely that users will be able to avoid ads all together. Instead, the company will allow them to hide ads in a similar fashion its main Facebook News Feed. However, one question that has been asked time and again is whether success with ads on Messenger would lead to ads being introduced on Facebook-owned WhatsApp messaging app.

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