A new update to Facebook Messenger brings a rather new element to the messaging service: autoplay video ads. Worse of all, the ads are unskippable and can’t be disabled.
Right now Facebook says that the ads are being rolled out to a small selection of users in a ‘gradual manner‘ as the company is planning to roll out the autoplay ads to more users as the year progresses. While advertisement in Messenger is not new, auto-playing ads will be rolled out to customers for the first time ever.
At the same time, users who do not want to see ads in their chat window are limited to how they can dismiss the ads outright. Currently, users can only either hide, report or adjust ad targeting preferences with no opt-out option in the works.
This comes as Facebook is still reeling over the controversial data leak with Cambridge Analytica. As the ads will be targeted to the users, questions are being raised on how the data collected will not be misused by companies and Facebook itself in wrong ways. While the targeted ads will bring great smiles to advertisers, the frown smiley will most likely be permanent on the faces of Facebook users overall.