With 700 million Messenger users, investors have seen Facebook as a plaltform where they can earn money but Facebook owner Zuckerberg put an end on those expectations yesterday during the Q2 earnings call, revealing that Messenger and Whatsapp will run the same monetization playbook as Facebook and the News Feed: Get people organically interacting with businesses before you let companies pay to reach customers.
“If you go back to 2006 and 2007, there were a lot of people that were encouraging us to just put banner ads and inorganic content into the experience” Zuckerberg sad. “And what we decided was that over the long-term, the ads and monetization would perform better if there was an organic interaction between people using the product and businesses.”
Following that up, Facebook has launched Pages which gives businesses chance to set up a free presence on the website. It asked users to subscribe to News Feed posts from businesses they will like to know about, and provide insights so that companies could know the impact of their Pages. Once people were accustomed to businesses in the feed, it slowly started letting businesses pay to amplify the reach of “Sponsored Stories” to people whose friends had interacted with their brand. Eventually, it introduced more flexible News Feed ads, and most recently, auto-play video ads.
If it is about flashy banners or paid commercials, users could have reject the News Feed, and the social media gaint could have ruined its futute revenue engine. Instead, usage kept growing and dollars came with time.