Facebook plans to start rolling out ads in its standalone chat app, Messenger, in the second quarter, according to leaked documents obtained by TechCrunch's Josh Constine and Jon Russell.
Businesses that already have message threads with consumers will soon be able to send them ads like sale announcements or product information.
A business won't be able to contact anyone with an ad that it hasn't already chatted with, according to the leaked documents.
However, they reportedly show Facebook encouraging brands to try to get chats started with consumers so that they will be able to send ads once the feature rolls out.
The move isn't particularly surprising — Facebook has made a number of product changes in the last year leading up to this capability.
It completely overhauled its Pages product for businesses, adding new call-to-action buttons to allow potential customers to book appointments or browse products, and made it possible for all businesses to use its Messaging tools.
And last year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that once it gets enough businesses using Messenger, it will start creating new ways to make them pay. Looks like that time is nearly here.
Facebook declined to comment on this report.
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