Facebook Rolls Out Slideshow Ads to Emerging Markets

Video advertising is an effective way to engage mobile-device users, but it doesn't work as well for people with slower feature phones or low-speed (or expensive) connectivity. With many such users in developing economies, Facebook this week introduced a new way to help marketers reach those audiences: Slideshow ads.

Facebook said that Slideshow ads will deliver a video-like experience in a "lightweight" -- as well as easy-to-produce -- manner. Early tests of the format, which animates a series of three to seven still images, have shown that a 15-second Slideshow ad results in a file that's one-fifth the size of a comparable video advertisement.

Slideshow ads have already helped Coca-Cola promote the new season of its show, Coke Studio Africa, in Kenya and Nigeria, Facebook said. By adapting a regular mobile video ad to the Slideshow format, the company was able to double its ad reach goals, according to Facebook.

Aiming for 'Seamless and Interactive'

"[W]e're committed to making everyone's experience seamless and interactive no matter how or where they connect," Facebook noted Thursday in its online announcement about Slideshow. "But video poses some challenges to advertisers, especially for small businesses and businesses reaching people in emerging and high-growth countries around the world."

The announcement cited a recent 42-country study by the brand research and consulting company Millward Brown, indicating that people in slow-connectivity markets like Nigeria and the Philippines can be "even more receptive to video ads."

In addition to delivering a video-like experience with lower bandwidth demands, Slideshow also makes it easier, quicker and less expensive for marketers to create mobile ads for their audiences, Facebook said.

"We created slideshow to help businesses reach the people in emerging and high-growth markets who want to watch more video content, but businesses everywhere are adopting Slideshow as a way to overcome...

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