Facebook reportedly plans to start rolling out ads in its standalone chat app, Messenger, in the second quarter, but we may have just gotten our first taste of what they could look like.
Jonathan Tzou, director of marketing at GSV Labs, screenshotted a promotion for Uber that appeared at the top of his Messenger app:
TechCrunch’s Josh Constine and Jon Russell reported that when Facebook rolls out Messenger ads it will be in the form of allowing businesses that already have message threads with consumers to send them ads like sale announcements or product information.
Tzou has never used Uber and this promotion wasn’t in a message thread, so it’s unclear whether this is another kind of ad that Facebook is testing, or something that is exclusive to Uber.
The ride-hailing app started integrating with Facebook Messenger in December, but consumer usage of the feature has been slow, sources told The Information’s Cory Weinberg reported earlier this month.
So, there’s a chance that this could be a non-paid relationship between Uber and Facebook, too, as the social network tries to encourage developers who are considering plugging into the Messenger platform.
Neither Facebook nor Uber could be reached for comment.