Facebook already allows advertisers to reach mobile users by device type, as well as different device models and operating systems. Now it’s expanding mobile targeting further by allowing marketers to tailor ads based on the speed of a user’s network connection — 2G, 3G or 4G.
The new feature is aimed especially at high-growth countries like India, where people mainly access the Internet through mobile devices but may have widely varying network speeds and rapidly changing telecom infrastructures.
“This fragmented environment makes it difficult for businesses to reach people with valuable experiences on their mobile devices,” stated a Facebook blog post Wednesday.
The company said the ability to target by bandwidth connection will help ensure a smooth user experience on any given device and network speed. A video ad targeted to people in Indonesia, where many have only 2G connections, for example, would be a waste if users couldn’t load the video easily.
“Optimizing the creative — for instance, targeting a video campaign to people with high-speed connections, and swapping in an image or link ad for people with slower connections — means ads can perform more efficiently for the people seeing them,” wrote Brendan Sullivan, a Facebook product marketing manager, in the post.
Facebook said advertisers like Vodafone in India are already seeing positive results in testing the new bandwidth-targeting capability. Today’s announcement comes about a month after the social network highlighted steps it is taking to connect advertisers with its 1.3 billion users globally, especially in emerging regions.
One example in India is that someone can place a “missed call” by clicking a Facebook ad from their phone. In the return call, that person receives content such as music, cricket scores or celebrity updates along with an advertiser’s message, without using airtime or data.
Last month, the company also said it had extended targeting features available in the U.S. and U.K., like reaching people according to life-stage and geotargeting to high-growth countries, such as India, Nigeria, Turkey, South Africa and Indonesia.
Bandwidth targeting is now available to advertisers worldwide -- including in the U.S. -- through Facebook’s Ad Create and Power Editor tools, as well as its API. The company noted that all user data is anonymous, and that audiences for mobile network targeting are based on aggregate groups of people based on their primary connection type.