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Get ready for ads in Facebook Messenger

A leaked document suggests voluntarily chatting with stores will allow them to send you spam.
Timothy J. Seppala, @timseppala
February 19, 2016
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Associated Press

If you've been chatting with businesses via Facebook Messenger, don't be too surprised if they start sending you ads in the near future. A leaked document obtained by TechCrunch apparently says that users who've voluntarily messaged a company could open themselves up to the spam as early as this April. Note the "voluntarily" bit there. From the sounds of it, Facebook is going to be working pretty hard to ensure that the incoming messages are actually welcome, lest you get annoyed and uninstall the app.

More than that, the social network has introduced a new feature that acts as a hyperlink for messaging a company. So, fb.com/msg/facebook, for example, leads to opening a message with Facebook's fan page. It's a lot like a shortcut to customer support or, like TC notes, a replacement for calling an automated phone system.

Remember, Messenger is more than just a messaging service now -- it's a platform. One where a you can play a game of chess, pester a virtual assistant and order an Uber, no less. In that case, maybe ads shouldn't come as too much of a surprise.

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