Nestle Everyday wanted to reach out to people in both metros and rural areas in India. Facebook worked with the brand and its agencies, Publicis Delhi and Media Alliance, to develop creative based on people’s bandwidth strengths and device types. With Facebook’s ability to bandwidth targeting, people accessing Facebook with lower bandwidths on feature phones and low-end smartphones received still images from Nestle Everyday, and people with stronger bandwidth connections and more sophisticated devices received videos in News Feed.

Facebook creative acceleratorFacebook’s ability to develop campaigns tailored to the people in each country and the devices they use to experience Facebook has been effective with the recent launch of the Creative Accelerator – a program designed to help brands unlock the power of personal storytelling in high-growth countries or emerging countries like India. Through the program, the Facebook Creative Shop is working with seven clients and their agency partners in India, Indonesia, South Africa, Kenya and Turkey to bring brands’ stories to life.

Facebook will collaborate with businesses and agencies to build creative, across all devices, specifically looking at consumer behavior. The program will also help agencies and brands take into account geographic, linguistic, technological and cultural considerations.

Speaking to Digital Market Asia, Facebook added that the explosive growth of mobile technology in emerging countries is the reason behind the launch of Creative Accelerator.”With people coming online at staggering rates and are doing so on mobile, especially in high-growth countries, we know mobile phones are much more than a way to place calls and send messages. It’s often a true lifeline, providing information about market prices, healthcare, banking, employment, entertainment and everything in between. And as people are connected to Facebook, our teams are building new ad solutions (country by country), plus developing new creative programs to help advertisers reach people at scale and build meaningful creative.”

Storytelling on mobile has opportunity and challenges

Facebook, a mobile first company has 890 million daily users, 1.19 billion mobile monthly users (up 6.2%), and 745 million daily mobile users (up 5.97%), according to Q4 2014 earnings report. In India, out of 118 million social media active accounts, 100 million are accessing via mobile, according to the We Are Social’s new Digital, Social and Mobile report for 2015. The report further stated, ” Social media activities and watching videos on mobile account 10% each when it comes to mobile activities followed by playing games on mobile. Interestingly 9% of the population use mobile banking.”

India has been the fastest growing smartphone nation in Asia but it is still dominated by the feature phone market. One of the reasons why social networks like Facebook have been struggling to make money from emerging markets. Along with internet infrastructure problems, majority of ad solutions from Facebook have failed to work on feature phone devices. An ET story last year, reported that India market accounts for less than 0.1% of Facebook’s revenues.

With innovative ideas Facebook is now targeting to achieve the next billion from the emerging markets. Along with projects like, Facebook has been working on building products that support the feature phone. In 2011 U2opia launched Fonetwish which allowed users in emerging markets to access Facebook on basic phones without any data plans. In India, it was available to almost all mobile phone users, except those who are using network of BSNL.

In fact in the same year Facebook had acquired Snaptu and integrated its technology to build a ‘Lighter’ Facebook for the developing market which has a dominance of feature phones. The Facebook project– “Facebook For Every Phone” hadannounced in mid 2013 that there were more than 100 million people using the technology and getting accustomed to the world of social networks. The app that enabled people around the globe to connect to the people on Facebook without having to purchase a smartphone, had seen acceptance from markets like India, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Last year Facebook had launched an ad product built around the missed call feature to get the attention of marketers. The product was initially tested with Gillete India and had fetched positive results; subsequently it was pitched to other brands. Gillette used Facebook Ads on feature phones to drive measurable awareness of its new Vector 3 razor among its target group in India. The campaign reached a target audience of more than 60%. Later on Facebook also executed a similar campaign for Garnier Men India in collaboration with ZipDial. With the objective to drive sales for Garnier Men India, Facebook created a click to missed call ad campaign for Garnier Men, in partnership with ZipDial, to use in its IPL contest campaign.

Bandwidth targeting that gives advertisers the ability to send ads based on the quality of a user’s network connection, moderating type of ad to whether a user is on a 2G, 3G or 4G / faster connection isn’t new technology for Facebook. With its latest launch of Creative Accelerator Facebook, it is not only sharing the knowledge to target developing markets but also creating campaigns, building creatives for the wide array of devices and mobile connections.

It is a win-win situation for a brand and Facebook but will it impact the agency business since now revenues are going to be further divided for such campaigns?