14/07: Digital Marketing News

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Megan Reid

This week in the Friday Briefing we hear from our Social Media Executive Megan on changes to Messenger advertising and what this could mean for the future of Paid Social! So kick back and catch up before the Glasgow Fair weekend.

Messenger: The Facebook of the Future?

Messenger ads have been around for a while in the UK, but Facebook officially rolled them out to the entire world yesterday. Facebook is now reporting 1.2 BILLION active monthly users on their Messenger app, after cutting support for messages on the original in 2011, and creating a standalone web app and desktop app for mac users- an impressive feat in 6 years, and only 800 million behind their original platform.

Messenger Ads appear on the user's main page under the messages tab, and when a user scrolls through their messages a "sponsored" message will appear. These ads can drive traffic in a traditional way to a website, or to a Messenger conversation tab; this is where the real value lies.

Marketers have long attempted to find the most natural way to advertise to users, as this can often mean a considerably higher CTR.  Thus asking users to engage on Messenger straight from an ad is a perfect way to engage them in a conversation about your brand, in which a well-programmed chatbot can direct them on the perfect user journey, making the whole ad to website journey feel a little more personal.

The proliferation of Messenger ads certainly opens up the platform to marketers in a new way, and makes it a more viable option than ever for Facebook's continuation. As users become more careful with the content they post on Facebook, and who they share content and indeed their information with, will this mean the growth of gated platforms such as Messenger?

Although also Facebook-owned, Whatsapp is one of the main "walled-gardens" of marketing (with a similar number of users to Messenger at 1.2 billion). Messenger is the more marketing-friendly inroad into a space where users consciousness is making marketing more difficult. Despite Facebook's continued growth, younger users are turning to social platforms where they don't share information with everyone, but instead a few select friends, and Messenger and perhaps a stand alone Facebook Groups app, could be the future of the platform for younger users.

Megan Reid

Social Media Executive

That's all we have to say this week - we're off to enjoy the Glasgow Fair weekend! Tune in next week when we chat all things Paid Search.