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Facebook Allows City Based Targeting Of Ads In India, But Messes Up City Names

Social network Facebook has introduced City based targeting for self-serve advertising on its platform in India, reports IndiaSocial. Previously, one could only select India as a country, and not target Facebook users in specific cities, while now, one has options of going local:

What is inexplicable, though, is how vague city definitions are: it appears that Facebook offers city names according to what people themselves choose to call their city. As a result, one has multiple names for the same city in India:

– for Mumbai: Bombay, India; Mumbai (Bombay), India; and Mumbai, India
– for Delhi: New Delhi, India; Delhi Paharganj, India; Delhi; Delhi, India; New Dilli, India
– for Chennai: Madras, India; Chennai (Madras), India; and Chennai, India
– for Kolkata: Calcutta, India; Kolkata (Calcutta), India; and Kolkata, India

This is probably based on the names that people themselves have entered for the cities that they reside in, but it can become complicated for advertisers, particularly first time advertisers, who wouldn’t know which city to pick.

The other issue is that one doesn’t quite have advertising for the entire state in one go, and will have to select each city, one by one. Facebook could make things easier for advertisers by consolidating city names, and perhaps even defining zones (like Delhi NCR).

Payment, though, is still in USD, and still through a credit card of PayPal. In comparison, Google accepts payments in Indian Rupees, and by cheque. Perhaps, things might change once Facebook’s local office in Hyderabad settles in.

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