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Targeted Ads Headed to Facebook Messenger

Heads up, Facebook Messenger users: more targeted advertising is headed your way.

Facebook has been testing ads inside its Messenger app in Australia and Thailand, and now the social network is ready to start rolling them out worldwide.

Facebook Messenger Ads"We'll now offer businesses around the world a way to use Facebook targeting to extend their reach to people in Messenger," the social network wrote in a Tuesday blog post.

In other words, don't be surprised if you start seeing ads in the home tab of the Messenger mobile app. Clicking an ad will either send you to the advertiser's webpage or a Messenger conversation with the company.

Facebook will start rolling out the new ads later this month to a "small percentage" of consumers around the world. The company plans to "slowly" start showing these ads to more people over time.

At this point, more than 1.2 billion people use Messenger every month. Today's launch "gives marketers an opportunity to expand the reach of their campaigns and drive more results," Facebook wrote.

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Meanwhile, the next time you're chatting with your spouse over Facebook Messenger about what to have for dinner, a little helper may butt in. Facebook Messenger's artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant M will jump into the conversation and suggest you look for a recipe using the Food Network chat extension. If you click on the suggestion, the Food Network chat extension will pop up, letting you browse recipes or search for something to make.

Announced Tuesday, "this new suggestion from M makes it even easier for people to discover the Food Network's chat extension, delightfully making recipe suggestions while you're chatting about preparing dinner," Messenger Product Manager Kemal El Moujahid said in a statement.

M can also now remind you to save content in your Messenger conversations, jog your memory about people's birthdays, and suggest you make a voice or video call.

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