The social network introduced sponsored messages last November as part of its launch of Messenger Platform v1.3.
Vice president of messaging products David Marcus said in a blog post at the time, “Driving people to a Messenger conversation isn’t enough. We want to make sure businesses and brands building for the platform can manage the entire life cycle of their customers. This is where sponsored messages come in. Sponsored messages enable businesses that have threads opened with their customers to re-engage them in a very efficient way. Of course, people using Messenger shouldn’t worry about getting spammed, because the starting principles still remain: Businesses can’t send a sponsored message to threads that weren’t previously opened by their customers or prospects, and users have full control to block messages or people/businesses they no longer want to hear from.”
Facebook announced in a Facebook Business blog post Friday that more businesses will be able to send sponsored messages in threads with users they have already communicated with, adding that the feature should roll out to all advertisers “in the coming months.”
Sponsored messages will also be added to the social network’s messages objective, making them easier to create.
Facebook re-emphasized its concerns over the user experience in the blog post: “As always, user experience is our top priority, so sponsored messages are only available to businesses that have previously communicated with customers in Messenger. A business must have enough open conversations to create a custom audience, and sponsored messages will not deliver within 24 hours of the person’s last interaction with the business in Messenger.”
Finally, the social network shared sponsored messages success stories from Qantas, which saw a click-through rate 4.5 times higher than Facebook link ads during a five-day campaign; and apparel brand Love Your Melon, which carved out a 14 times return on ad spend from its sponsored messages campaign.