Facebook had started testing this ad unit in partnership with Bangalore-based mobile marketing company ZipDial, which allows users to place a missed call to an advertiser by clicking on an ad on their mobile phone and get access to additional content, in July this year.
VivaConnect’s greater reach seems to be the reason why Facebook has partnered with in now. The company claims to process daily traffic of over 50 million outbound calls through services such as voice call, missed call, SMS, email and mobile apps. However, it’s not clear if ZipDial will continue to work with Facebook on this ad unit or if VivaConnect will be the sole partner in India.
Earlier, Facebook had ran a click to missed call campaign for Garnier Men during this year’s IPL season (April to May 2014). The company had claimed that the campaign reached 15 million people and that Garnier Men witnessed a 2.5x increase in its online sales as compared to last year. ZipDial had provided the phone number and managed the follow-up engagement and usage analytics for the advertiser. Facebook had also experimented with feature phone-only campaigns for Gillette India.
Facebook in India: It’s worth noting that India is the largest market for Facebook outside the United States with a user base of over 100 million, but according to the company 66% of these users experience Facebook on feature phones. With this ad unit, Facebook was looking to reach out to its non-smartphone users in the country. But Facebook isn’t making much money in India. An Economic Times report pegs India’s contribution to Facebook’s global revenue at 0.1%. While the company has never disclosed how much money it makes in India or what the country specific ARPU is, Facebook’s Asia Pacific ARPU was $1.18 for Q3 2014 – still among the lowest in the world.
Bandwidth targeting: Facebook had also introduced a new ad unit called bandwidth targeting that lets advertisers target ads based on the quality of the Facebook user’s network connection, in September this year. Apparently, Vodafone India has already tested this ad unit. The company had also introduced state-level targeting for Indian advertisers, wherein advertisers could target people by state or even multiple states in India without having to list multiple cities.