Facebook today took steps to make conversations between customers and brands a bigger part of its business strategy, announcing that advertisers can now choose messages as an objective in Ads Manager.

When starting an ad advertising campaign on Facebook, one of the first decisions you make is your objective, or what you’d like users to do when they see your ad.

Objectives in Ads Manager allow advertisers to target ads based on needs like engagement, traffic, app installs, video views, and revenue.

Previously, traffic and conversion objectives could be selected for click to Messenger ads. Now, in addition to those, advertisers can choose to the messages objective to initiate conversations with customers to do things like answer questions, drive transactions, or generate leads.

Click to Messenger advertisements can be placed on Facebook, Instagram, or Facebook Messenger. Those ads lead to a conversation on Facebook Messenger either with a human or an automated bot. Ads can be displayed with photos, videos, or a carousel of photos.

The message objective begins rolling out today and will be available worldwide in the coming months.

“The messages objective will also serve as the new home for Facebook’s existing messaging ad products and will make it easy for advertisers to drive conversations at scale,” according to a post on Facebook Business blog. “In addition to click to Messenger ads, the messages objective will also allow businesses to reengage in existing conversations using sponsored messages. Businesses can also expect to see sponsored messages incorporated into the messages objective in the coming weeks.”

Above: Messenger ad objective in Facebook Ads Manager

Facebook has continued to step up its attempts to make conversations between businesses and customers part of its messaging monetization strategy.

Conversations between brands and customers has been a focal point for Facebook Messenger since the launch of the Messenger Platform in April 2016, and has remained a focus in recent months as efforts to monetize its messaging apps begin in earnest this summer.

in July, an advertising beta for the front page of Facebook Messenger opened up worldwide, while WhatsApp began to verify business user accounts and launched a customer service app for businesses big and small.

The Discover Tab in Messenger was also added earlier this year for featured conversations with both people and bots from major brands like Mercedes-Benz, McDonald’s, Kayak, and WebMD.

Advertising in the Facebook News Feed to lead to conversational experiences first began last fall.

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