Facebook is going to start showing everyone ads in Messenger

Facebook Messenger ad
An example ad in Messenger. Facebook

Ads are coming to Facebook’s Messenger app.

After testing Messenger ads in Australia and Thailand, Facebook announced on Tuesday that any advertiser will be able to buy ads in the messaging app, which boasts 1.2 billion users.

The ads won’t be shown in conversations. They will instead exist in the main inbox tab between threads.

Facebook said it will start rolling out ads slowly, starting with a small percentage of users in the US over the coming weeks. Marketers will be able to buy targeted Messenger ads alongside the News Feed and Instagram in Facebook’s ad manager.

Showing traditional ads is a change of course for Messenger, which originally tried to monetise by pushing businesses to create bots for chatting directly with customers. Chat bots have yet to catch on widely, but changes were made earlier this year to make them easier to use and more discoverable.

Adding more ads to Messenger now comes at a good time for Facebook: The company has warned that it’s nearing the limit of ads it can show in the News Feed.