Facebook could soon beef up its Messenger app by integrating a new function allowing businesses to send marketing messages to users, in a bid to further monetise the platform.
Dubbed Messenger Broadcast, the company confirmed to TechCrunch it was testing the feature internally but, as of late October, had yet to extend its trial to the public or businesses.
The added functionality would allow businesses to design and operate a welcome message, title and a prompt for users to visit a specific website, which will then prompt a Messenger bot to send the user a reply written by the business.
Businesses would be able to preview their message within the Messenger app or the Messenger Broadcast interface, TechCrunch reported. Companies would have a potential audience of 1.3 billion Facebook Messenger users.
A Facebook representative said the company often test products, features and ideas designed for businesses: “Once we’ve tested them internally we make a call as to whether or not to ultimately release them.”
The wider functionality behind the feature is unclear, but the interface does reportedly outline a certain number of users will receive the messages at no cost to the business.
It is likely businesses will be able to pay more to widen the reach of the product.
Facebook took a cautious approach to monetising Messenger to ensure such efforts do not curb the platform’s growth and popularity.
The company started pushing adverts on the app earlier this year, albeit with the caveat businesses can only target users who initiate contact.