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Australia joins Facebook Messenger ad test

Australian businesses may soon have a new way to reach customers, as Facebook launches a trial to show ads in its Messenger app.

Australia and Thailand have been selected to test the new ad format, which many see as an attempt to relieve pressure on the number of ads crowding users’ news feeds.

Participants in the trial will see ads appear below the “recent conversations” section of the Messenger home screen.

Ads will not pop up in conversation unless the user clicks on the advert or starts a conversation with it, Facebook’s product manager Eddie Zhang said in a blog post.

The test will involve a “very small group” of people in Australia and Thailand who can choose to control their Messenger usage and to hide or report specific ads, Zhang said.

Businesses can already pay Facebook to send sponsored messages to people who have previously contacted them through Messenger.

According to Zhang, over one billion messages are sent between people and businesses on Messenger each month.

He said the test would open doors for companies to show off their products and for customers to discover new brands.

A spokesman for Facebook Australia and New Zealand declined to tell the AAP why these two countries were the chosen destinations.

The social media company said it will be in no rush to consider further expansion following an analysis of the trial.


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