Facebook is planning to make money from the economic growth in emerging markets around the globe. To help with this, the U.S. firm rolled out “Slideshow” ads on Thursday. As they are a series of still images, it makes them easier to watch on slow connections and on cheaper mobile devices compared to traditional videos, thus making them perfect for emerging markets.
Facebook slideshow ads are economical, efficient
Overseas markets contribute more than half of revenue for the social networking giant, and now the company is targeting emerging markets to make money from the next billion people who will be online soon. Video ads are very popular in emerging markets, and Facebook is trying to make the most of it.
Facebook’s chief product officer, Chris Cox, said at a press conference, “We’re pretty close to a world where most people have Internet access. The people we’re building for look less and less like us.”
Through the feature, Facebook creates a slideshow of the photos advertisers provide. These ads are comprised of three to seven photos and last up to 15 seconds. Facebook, which has already tested the format with Coca-Cola and Netflix, concluded that they perform better than still-photo ads.
Facebook said Slideshow ads run on all devices and on both 2G and 3G networks. Also they take five times less time to load than traditional video ads. The ads are tailored to fit the screen size they are viewed on. The U.S. firm noted that the per-view cost of slideshow ads is less than that of video ads but higher than that of text ads.
Emerging markets: the next frontier
Internet giants are competing to reach almost everyone on the planet, and now the next frontier is emerging markets where there is little or no internet access. Internet firms stand to benefit when more people come online to perform activities such as checking updates or searching the web, sending messages or streaming YouTube videos.
On Wednesday, Google’s Project Loon announced plans to test its high-altitude, wind-propelled balloons in Indonesia. Similarly, to provide Internet to far flung places, Facebook is working on a fleet of solar-powered drones, satellites and lasers.
On Thursday, Facebook shares closed up 0.65% at $104.88. Year to date, the stock is up by over 32%, while in the last month shares are up by over 21%.