Facebook may be looking at new ways to monetize Messenger.
The social network plans to start putting ads inside of its messaging platform, according to a new report from TechCrunch. The ads could launch in the next couple months, though the format of the ads is unclear.
The report, which cites leaked documents detailing Facebook’s plans, suggests that ads inside of Messenger will be different than those that appear elsewhere on Facebook. The ads will only appear in message threads with businesses and businesses will only be able to serve ads to people who previously contacted them via Messenger.
Part of the plan is apparently a new type of personalized URL that businesses can share, which links back to a new message thread with their page. In addition to making it much easier for brands and businesses to communicate via Facebook, TechCrunch speculates the URLs could also be the beginning of a way for brands to use Messenger as replacement for more traditional customer service platforms.
Exactly when the ads may begin to roll out is unclear but the report says they are currently slated for Q2 2016. A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on the report.
While the benefits of such a change for businesses are obvious, Facebook will need to tread carefully if it does begin to experiment with ads in Messenger. Messenger, despite some early stumbles, is approaching a billion users and has quickly become the home to some of Facebook’s most ambitious efforts. Facebook users, like those on most social media platforms, tend to be to sensitive to overly aggressive advertising so a clunky rollout on Messenger could have a far-reaching impact.