Many mobile messaging apps already allow publishers to sneak and splice their content into people’s conversations. Up until now, though, Facebook Messenger didn’t. But that’s all about to change, if a recent report from Marketing Land is true.
According to Marketing Land, Facebook is planning to open up its Messenger platform to developers and publishers later this year, and an announcement along those lines will be made at the firm’s F8 developer conference next month.
When you consider that Facebook’s Messenger app is now the primary way for people to chat via the social media platform on mobile devices, this news is rather exciting.
Basically, publishers will be able to share their content through Messenger using chatbots. They can include a short description and link back to the full articles on their own websites. So instead of the usual promoted stories and sponsored posts just appearing in people’s news feeds, they could also pop up among chat conversations.
If they do indeed come to fruition, Facebook’s plans will undoubtedly appease many publishers who raised concerns about the social network’s Instant Articles feature, which was launched last year and saw users consuming content within Facebook itself rather than on a content publisher’s own website.
However, it will be interesting to see how Facebook deals with any privacy issues that may arise from its users. After all, the thought of promoted stories appearing in Facebook Messenger conversation lists by way of a chatbot may make many feel uneasy. These promoted chats will undoubtedly need to be labelled accordingly and make it obvious that they are from publishers.
On the other hand, it will be a fantastic way for content producers to get their stories seen by people who will inevitably find them interesting.
We’ll have to wait until next month for more info, but it sounds like paid content could become even more laser-targeted going forward.
Do you use promoted stories and paid content to reach new audiences? We’d love to hear about your experiences.