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FB launches new ‘slideshow’ video ads for emerging markets

In a push to reach out to more users in the developing markets, Facebook has launched a new ‘Slideshow’ ad feature which brings a video-like experience in countries with low connectivity.

Slideshow is a lightweight ad format that advertisers can use to create video ads from still images. A company blog post explained, “Slideshow reduces the need for video production time and resources, and because of its smaller file size, it extends eye-catching ads to people on basic devices or with poor connectivity. In early testing, we found that a 15-second slideshow can be up to 5x smaller in file size than a video of the same length. Slideshow uses video-like motion and no sound, giving advertisers a new way to tell brand stories to people everywhere.”

Nikila Srinivasan, Product Manager for Emerging Markets, Facebook explains, “Most people who come online and use Facebook once a day watch at least one video per day. That’s an incredible opportunity and as a company, we want to make videos easily discoverable and a very powerful vehicle that can also capture your attention. However, we do recognise that producing a video requires a high budget and for consumers across different connectivity and devices, it can be a challenge to connect with the stories marketers are telling them. Therefore, we launched Slideshow which is a lightweight and responsive ad format that renders across the board, no matter what device or connection a person is on. It enables businesses to deliver beautiful videos and stories without much cost or time.”

This ad format will allow the company to monetise people it is bringing online in the emerging markets such as India and Africa on its Internet.Org platform.

The format has already been used by Coca-Cola in Kenya and Nigeria which ran a video ad to raise awareness of the new season of their show, Coke Studio Africa. The lightweight ad format reached two million people—twice their goal—and raised ad awareness by 10 points in Kenya.

“We are pleased with how the Facebook slideshow campaign performed across our key markets in Africa, particularly in Nigeria and Kenya. The campaign over-delivered on reach by one million and had a 10 point increase in ad awareness in Kenya. We recognise that our consumers may have constraints when accessing video content, hence the slideshow option by Facebook is spot on in enabling us to still deliver impactful and quality content. As such, we are excited to use the slideshow feature to deliver high quality content from Coke Studio Africa to our consumers on the continent,” said Ahmed Rady, Marketing Director, Coca-Cola Central, East and West Africa on the company blog.

“We want to ensure our ads work even on slow connections. People in emerging markets want to build connections with brands, they want to build connections with businesses.  This is a really fascinating trend and we are seeing more and more of this,” said Kelly MacLean, Product Marketing Manager Ads for Emerging Markets, Facebook.

Ms MacLean highlights at a press conference that the aim for Facebook is to enable marketers to, “Reach everyone, across any level of connectivity, how and when they want to connect.”

Shubhi Tandon

Shubhi Tandon is the Assistant Editor at Digital Market Asia. Fascinated by the evolving digital media industry, she has focussed on tracking developments in the Asia Pacific market since 2014.