Facebook wants to make its ads available to all users and all advertisers across the globe and increase its share in the ads revenue pie. Given that most of the world is operating on slow internet connections, releasing an ad format that works well on limited bandwidth is key to Facebook’s ad domination, at least in developing markets.
This new ad format, dubbed Slideshow, promises to offer a similar, yet a lighter experience for networks where video ads might take ages to load. The new format can hold up to 7 still photos and advertisers can rearrange them according to their needs, as well as and create their own slideshow format, which can last anywhere between 5 and 15 seconds.
According to Facebook, the new format is much lighter than traditional videos – up to 5x smaller in file size, thus faster to load. Slideshow uses video-like motion and no sound to transition between images, and offers a much more engaging content to end users, even in places where connectivity is a rare commodity.
There are many reasons for which Facebook is developing this new format. One of them is that it wants to strengthen its hold on developing markets, yield their potential and engage billions of users. However there’s another view; Slideshow ads are the perfect solution for small and medium businesses that don’t always have the means to produce high end videos. For the latter, Facebook is also offering a variety of stock images for advertisers to use in their ad units.
Among the successful adopters of this format one may find Coca Cola in Kenya and Nigeria. To reach their target audience who were using slower connections or features phones, the brand took high-resolution screenshots from their video campaign and uploaded the image sequence along with some basic text on Facebook, using the new format. Coca Cola reached 2 million people, twice more than originally projected.
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