Facebook has confirmed that it will will start placing ads within its Messenger app for iPhone and Android.
The social network says that users will see sponsored posts at the bottom of the Messenger home display, above where it usually places birthday notifications.
It is the first time that Facebook has placed ads directly on its hugely popular messaging service. The move is likely to cause consternation among users who already see a vast array of ads on their Facebook News Feed.
Explaining the move on Facebook’s Messenger blog, the company’s product manager, Eddie Zhang, tried to reassure users. He said that ads would only appear in conversation threads if a user starts a conversation with a brand or clicks on an ad on the Messenger home screen.
“These test ads won’t originate in your conversations,” he added.
The tests are taking place in Thailand and Australia, with a global rollout expected if they prove successful.
Despite its claims that users want to engage with businesses via Messenger, many are likely to see this as another attempt by Facebook to monetise its chat service.