Facebook launches ‘life-stage’ targeting and missed call functionality in high-growth countries

Facebook has launched new functionality in high-growth countries that will see new parents, retirees and those with new jobs targeted based on their ‘life-stage’.

This is part of a development of new local ad solutions to help advertisers reach millions of people via mobile, many for the first time.

Kelly MacLean, who leads Facebook’s emerging markets ads product business, said: “Last year, Facebook provided advertisers with the ability to place and target ads on feature phones. Since then, we’ve improved ad delivery by optimising for low-bandwidth connections and offered enhanced features that give brands more storytelling options. Advertisers can reach millions of people — some for the very first time — on any device and in any country.”

One of the moves has seen geo-targeting, with advertisers now able to target people by state or even multiple states within India. Facebook is working on additional targeting enhancements in Nigeria, Turkey, South Africa, India, Indonesia, and across Latin America.

Another area which has been developed by Facebook for India is a ‘missed call’ service. 100 million people are on Facebook in India, 84 per cent of whom access via mobile.

MacLean explained: “Somewhat similar to a collect call, people dial a number and hang up before connecting to save voice minutes. Often the call is used to send a signal to a friend or family member, such as “I’m outside,” or “Call me back.” Some businesses have recently begun sending recorded messages or SMS messages to people who place a missed call to them.”

Based on this, Facebook is now testing an ad unit in India that builds on this behavior. When a person sees an ad on Facebook they can place a “missed call” by clicking the ad from their mobile device. In the return call, the person receives valuable content, such as music, cricket scores or celebrity messages, alongside a brand message from the advertiser.

The company plans to scale the product in coming months to other countries.

Facebook has also partnered with Nielsen to serve polls to people on feature phones, providing advertisers with more effective tools to measure brand sentiment, purchase intent, and ad recall.

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