This one will hurt: Facebook has found another source of video ad space; inside Messenger, where some users have started seeing autoplay video ads appear in their inbox.
I am now convinced that Facebook doesn’t care about user experience. I have always been a defender of the big blue platform, but this time, it’s going too far. Yes, Facebook is running out of ad space, but the only truly “private” place on the platform should have been off-limits.
It’s true that Facebook started selling ads inside Messenger 18 months ago. Not only were they static ads, but there also weren’t that many. Today, the company has announced it will start selling autoplay video ads within Messenger, and I cannot think of something more invasive and disturbing.
Video ads cost more to advertisers than static, so on the business side of things, it makes sense. But what about the user experience? Seeing autoplay video ads next to your private conversations will no doubt feel intrusive and out of place. And if ads happen to be related to your conversation, then you will freak out for sure.
Stefanos Loukakos, the head of Messenger’s ad business, says he is fully aware of the issues, and that user experience remains Facebook’s top priority.
“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.”
Ok Stefanos, but autoplay videos are another type of monster.
What do you think?