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Facebook Reveals Click-to-message Plans as Instagram Hits 400m

David Murphy

Messenger.jpgFacebook has revealed more details about how it intends to make money from its Messenger chat product.

At its Developer Conference in the spring, Facebook announced that it planned to allow brands to use Messenger for communications with customers – things like delivery updates and other customer services issues. The idea was that once enough brands started using Messenger for this sort of stuff, it could start to monetise it.

Yesterday, speaking at Tech Crunch Disrupt, Facebook VP, engineering, Andrew Bosworth, revealed that the company is working on “click to message” ads that will enable brands to design an ad with a call to action for anyone who sees it to message the brand with a comment or question, which the brand, of course, would pay to receive. There was no word of when the ad/messaging unit might roll out.

Separately, Facebook-owned Instagram revealed in a blog post that it has now signed up 400m users, which means the five-year old service has added 100m users since the start of the year. More than 80m photos are shared on Instagram each day.

The analyst, eMarketer, estimates that Instagram's worldwide ad revenue will be $600m this year, rising rapidly to $1.48bn in 2016 and $2.81bn in 2017. As such, Instagram would account for 5 per cent of Facebook's worldwide mobile ad revenue this year and 14 per cent of that total in 2017. According to eMarketer, the US will account for 92 per cent of the total in 2016 and 85 per cent in 2017. Also by 2017, eMarketer forecasts that Instagram will have higher net mobile display ad revenues than both Google and Twitter.