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Facebook recently took steps to solve one of its biggest challenges by releasing a slimmed-down version of its Android app for users in emerging markets. The new app, dubbed Facebook Lite, will help Facebook get its service (and advertisements) in front of more users who would otherwise not be able to access the social network.
A big challenge in developing markets is that mobile users typically have limited or slow mobile broadband connections. Additionally, low-power devices account for the majority of smartphones in many emerging economies.
Facebook is struggling to monetise users from emerging markets.
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Regions with emerging markets, such as Asia-Pacific, trail far behind more developed regions in terms of average revenue per Facebook user (see chart, below). One reason for this is the number of active advertisers in these regions. However, challenges related to efficiently serving up high-value ad units like auto-play video ads is also a major factor.
The social network is trying to solve this problem by being smart about how ads are delivered, and slimming down device resource demands.
Reducing the data and system demands of the Facebook app will free up resources that can be allocated to content and advertisements that appear within the app.
Facebook also recently launched tools that allow advertisers to automatically adjust which creative assets are served to users according to their region, device capabilities, and wireless speed. For example, an advertiser can elect to serve up video ads to users with high-powered devices, and then dynamically adjust the same campaign to serve up text or image-based ads to users with slower devices.
As a result, advertisers may become more inclined to deploy Facebook ad campaigns in emerging markets generally because they can effectively target users with both high- and low-end devices without additional effort.
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