Chatting to businesses on Facebook Messenger may leave you wide open to targeted ads. That’s according to a leaked document that suggests voluntarily speaking to businesses via Facebook’s chat app will allow them to send ads your way. According to the document, obtained by TechCrunch, “businesses will be able to send ads as messages to people who previously initiated a chat thread with that company.” Apparently the document goes as far as suggesting that “businesses get consumers to start message threads with them now so they will be able to send them ads when the feature launches”. The feature — if you can call it that — is said to launch some time in the second quarter of 2016.
Facebook’s already quietly launched a related feature: A short link in the form of fb.com/msg/COMPANY that instantly opens a chat thread with the company in question. It’s a kind of a direct dial to a customer service chat line. Which sound useful, though clicking them presumably counts as voluntarily chatting to said business.
Messenger sure isn’t just a chat client any more.
Image by Kārlis Dambrāns