Facebook is making money hand over foot, with most of that cash coming in from advertising on Facebook, and more recently, Instagram.
However, the company is always looking for new ways to earn even more money, and the social network apparently has plans to utilize Facebook Messenger for this purpose.
According to a leaked document received by TechCrunch, Facebook is preparing to integrate sponsored messages into its messaging service. While several businesses are already using Messenger as a customer service portal, formalizing this arrangement will apparently begin sometime in the second quarter of this year.
The service will reportedly only allow advertising-related messages to be sent to users who’ve already interacted previously with a company. Since the channel is already a way companies can communicate with customers for free, there will obviously be limits or rules regarding how and when companies will pay for messages to customers.
If Messenger becomes a way businesses and customers feel comfortable communicating, this could be a massive shift for customer service, especially if the new short URLs of the form fb.com/msg/(page-name) become popular (go and try that URL with “Rogers“).
In January, Facebook announced that Messenger has over 800 million users.