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Facebook hits 3 million advertisers and reveals plan to woo small businesses

The number of advertisers using Facebook has doubled over the past two years, with 3m brands now using the platform to promote their goods and services.

More than 70 per cent of businesses buying ads are from outside the US, with the site noting the largest increase in interest from Southeast Asia.

According to the social network, the "vast majority" of marketers using the site are small businesses and as such its laid bare some plans to court more small companies and monitise the 50m firms that have established Facebook Pages.

With predictions from eMarkerter estimating that the social behemoth will capture $186.81bn worth of worldwide digital ad spend this year (12 per cent of the global total), the giant is braced to go after small to medium-size firms to contribute to this figure.

In a blog posted today (2 March) which outlined its latest advertiser count, Facebook launched a new tool for small firms called 'Your Business Story' which it says will make it easy for business owners to create videos to show what they "bring to world."

"We believe the best way to tell the story of 3m businesses is to empower each one to share their own," it said.

The fresh feature lets companies create a slide show using music and images accompanied by text to create an 'about me'-style clip.

Speaking to Fortune, Dan Levy, Facebook's vice-president for small businesses revealed that 1.5m smaller firms upload videos on to the platform each month.

Facebook's sister site Instagram, which recently revealed it had signed up 200,000 advertisers since expanding globally, has also been eyeing up small businesses. The image-sharing site's chief operating officer, Marne Levine, said a few weeks ago that it wanted to "plug into Facebook's infrastucture" in order to help smaller firms connect with customers.

Rebecca Stewart

Rebecca Stewart is The Drum's breaking news and social media reporter, covering how brands and media companies are using platforms like Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and beyond.

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