Screengrab via Facebook

After promising tests in Australia and Thailand, Facebook says it's expanding its beta ad product within Messenger globally.

Why it's a big deal: With this update, Facebook has granted advertisers access to 1.2 billion people that couldn't be targeted directly in the app before. (Messenger user data has been a part of Facebook's audience network for years, but could only be used as a part of larger network-wide buys on Facebook or Instagram outside of those two countries.)

Will it get creepy? Facebook product manager Ted Helwick told AdWeek's Marty Swant that the company doesn't plan on reading its users' messages to better target ads, as Google did for Gmail. Rather, Messenger ads will be targeted through audience data, the same way Instagram and Facebook ads are targeted.

What's in it for Facebook? More ad dollars — yes, even more. Although Facebook is expected to take nearly 20% of all U.S. digital dollars this year, executives have warned investors that ad revenue is expected to come down meaningfully this year because of a reduced ad load.

Go deeper

Tim Scott says Trump "misspoke" when he told Proud Boys to "stand by"

Photo: Bonnie Cash/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) told reporters on Wednesday that he believes President Trump "misspoke" when he told the far-right "Proud Boys" group to "stand back and stand by" in response to a question about condemning white supremacy at the first presidential debate.

Catch up quick: Moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump on Tuesday, "Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down?" Trump asked who specifically he should condemn, and then responded, "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I'll tell you what, somebody's got to do something about antifa and the left."

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

Lego, Sesame Workshop back early-learning startup

Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images

A number of leading children's brands, including Lego and Sesame Workshop, are among the investors pouring $50 million into BEGiN, the New York startup behind the early-learning program HOMER.

Why it matters: Thus far, HOMER has focused on reading apps, but with the new funding and partnerships, the company says it will expand to a full early-learning program combining digital, physical and in-person experiences, tapping some of its investors for both content and distribution.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Climate's surprise appearance in the debate

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The debate was a mess as moderator Chris Wallace struggled with President Trump's interruptions. But let's analyze the climate parts anyway without normalizing the whole thing.

Why it matters: The contest provided a collision over the topic between Trump and Joe Biden, and underscored the two candidates' immense differences.

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