Facebook Messenger’s search for a way to generate revenue seemed to have hit a turning point with the inclusion of person-to-person and group payments in the app, but according to Facebook Messenger head David Marcus, that’s not the case, and the app will pursue ad-based revenue just like the rest of Facebook’s main ventures. Marcus said in an interview with Recode that Messenger would not be taking a share of payments made on the platform. Messenger already started integrating advertising on a basic level, and it appears that these efforts will be expanded upon going forward in order to help monetize the service.
David Marcus was recruited by Facebook from PayPal, so his arrival already implied the possibility of Messenger turning to payment-based revenue. According to Marcus himself, though, that simply isn’t the case. For the time being, monetization within Facebook Messenger is limited to ads in the inbox and chat bots serving ads in messages to users, and that won't change in the immediate future. On a related note, advertisers can now choose to have their ads on Facebook direct users to their own Messenger chatbots. Facebook is making a lot of money from advertising on their main social platform, so it's not entirely unthinkable that the company would also be looking to improve the monetization of its other services like Messenger, and while that may be the case here, such strategy apparently won't rely on mobile payments or anything other than traditional advertising.
While its revenue generation methods are currently limited, Messenger has been attracting new users in some innovative ways. Tons of features and enhancements have not only brought the app into mainstream popularity in developed markets but have also helped it gain traction in emerging markets like India and Africa where Facebook has positioned Messenger as a standalone web portal. This is in line with many other chat apps on the market like LINE and WeChat, with the main difference being in revenue generation; while some other messaging apps have various monetization methods, Facebook Messenger is still only limited to advertising and won't be looking to take a cut of in-app payments made by its users.