Facebook's messaging platform may not be universally loved, but it is quite popular. Over the years the social networking giant has introduced several features, making the app more bloated and the latest is likely to cause more troubles for users.
The company announced that it was introducing auto-playing video ads to supplement its already controversial static ads in the messenger app. The feature began rolling out on Monday globally and has so far received a very silent response.
In a statement to Recode, Stefanos Loukakos, head of advertising at Facebook Messenger, said, "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."
With the flagship Facebook product quickly running out of space, Facebook has identified Messenger as its next big platform for ads. In July last year, the company introduced static ads onto messenger, right next to the user's chats. While it is unclear how exactly video ads will show up, users can expect them to be intrusive and take up a great deal of screen real estate.
Since video ads are often more expensive than static ads, the move will bring in a huge chunk of revenue for the company, boosting its coffers while toeing to the line when it comes to user privacy. This move is likely to reiterate the adage that users aren't the customers, but the product.
Following the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, the company promised to put in safeguards to ensure user privacy wasn't compromised. The company said it would also allow users to regulate what ads they see, and stop seeing certain ads by simply reporting them as 'unhelpful' or 'irrelevant'. The same feature is expected to make its way to Messenger and these pesky video ads as well.