A few months ago, when Facebook rolled out its newest messaging app, its users were outraged. The new iPhone and Android app required users to download it in order to continue using Facebook’s messaging service. Facebook’s users were frustrated that the social media powerhouse was making them download a second application onto their phone in order to get as many downloads as possible. It’s possible that Facebook made this switch in order to make their messaging service seem more as a day-to-day messenger, to combat the popularity of WhatsApp, GroupMe, and iMessage. Regardless of the intent, the application made most of its users angry. All of the reviews for this Facebook messenger application average around one star on the Application Store on Apple.
In the middle of this controversy, Facebook has launched a large advertising campaign, pushing their new messaging system. You can see them all around the city of Chicago, on bus stops and traditional billboard types of media. It’s interesting that in the face of all of this controversy, Facebook pushed forward in getting their message out on a mass market. Facebook usually does not resort to this kind of media, there are very few print advertisements displaying Facebook’s social networking service. This approach for Facebook is a new one, using a heavy push of traditional, print media for advertising. Especially in this situation, where their application is already facing negative backlash, it is a new approach for Facebook.
Because Facebook is already having problems with this new application, then this is probably the reason for their change in advertising. Because they are used to having a high satisfactory rates with this customers, Facebook usually does not have to deal with bad press. In a combined public relations and advertising effort, it seems as though Facebook is combating this bad press with their mandatory application through new advertising strategies. This could be the resurgence of Facebook advertisements all over the city, because they have never had to use them before now.