Messenger is one of the cleaner Facebook products, but that’s about to change: autoplaying video ads are coming to the service.
Ads alongside personal conversations are nothing new: AIM featured banner ads, and Hotmail was ad supported in the 90s. But video ads alongside personal conversations feels particularly invasive.
Facebook officials don’t seem too worried about that, though. Here’s Facebook’s Stefanos Loukakos, talking to Recode‘s Kurt Wagner:
Top priority for us is user experience, so we don’t know yet [if these ads 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.
Facebook turned on ads and users didn’t stop using Messenger. If users react the same way to autoplaying videos we can all expect to see them for years to come. I suspect that’s exactly what will happen, because while ads are annoying we all want to keep in touch with our friends.
If you’d like to avoid these ads on mobile check out Facebook Messenger Lite. This version of Messenger is intended for low bandwidth users, which hopefully means no autoplaying video. It’s not a sure thing, but it’s worth a shot, right?