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Facebook looks to monetize developing countries with ‘Creative Accelerator’


Facebook has launched ‘Creative Accelerator’, a program for advertisers to develop mobile-ad campaigns. The social media platform is currently working with seven clients across five countries including a partnership with Nestle in India, and partnerships with other brands in South Africa, Kenya, Turkey and Indonesia.

According to Facebook, through this initiative it will tailor advertising campaigns based on the user’s region and device used in developing countries. Advertisers will also be able to develop and send rich media ads, such as videos, to users with faster Internet connections and still images and other relevant media, for users accessing Facebook on a weaker connection.

Nestle Everyday program: Facebook’s tie up with Nestle involves developing creatives based on user bandwidth availability and devices types. Users accessing Facebook on low bandwidths, low-end smartphones or feature phones receive only still images from Nestle Everyday ads, while people with stronger bandwidth connections and higher end devices recieved videos of the same. In other partnerships, Facebook has curated content based on the sex of the user and specific hashtags among other parameters.

Clearly with this move Facebook is looking to deliver advertisements to everyone no matter what connection or device type the user uses to access the platform. This will help Facebook increase its revenues in India and other countries were low end smartphones and slow internet connections are a norm.

Note that while the company has not mentioned its exact India revenue figures, its average revenue per user (ARPU) in Asia region is still among the lowest at $1.08. This is up from $0.93 in the previous quarter and $0.75 in the same quarter last year, however far lower that its ARPU for US & Canada which is at $6.44 or Europe where it stands at $2.48. The social networking platform currently has a user base of over 112 million active users in India, of which about 90% of the users or about 99 million use mobile devices for access.

Missed call initiative: In July last year, Facebook had started testing a new type of ad unit, in an attempt to further monetize its audience in India. The initiative allows users to place a missed call to an advertiser by clicking on an ad on their mobile phone and in the return call, users get access to additional content like cricket scores and celebrity messages among others. This content will provided with no additional airtime or data charges and will be ad-supported.

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The social networking giant had mentioned then that, it would also offer state-level targeting to Indian advertisers, wherein advertisers can target people by state or even multiple states in India without having to list multiple cities.

Asia stats: Overall in Q2-14, Facebook reported Asia revenues of $431 million for the quarter, registering a 21.75% growth from $354 million in the previous quarter and a 74.5% growth from $247 million in the same quarter last year. The platform reported 410 million monthly active users (MAUs) in Asia for the quarter ended June 30, 2014, up 5.13% from 390 million MAUs in the previous quarter and up 20.94% from 339 million MAUs in the same quarter last year.

Image source: Flickr user Scott Beale

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