Facebook has announced it has 100 million users in Africa, half the number of people with internet access on the continent. Over 80% of these access the social media site via mobile phones.
“People in high-growth countries want to be connected to the world around them. In countries such as South Africa, Nigeria, Turkey, and elsewhere, mobile devices are increasingly the way people find new information, and share their new experiences in the world. We also know that people will experience Facebook in unique ways across the world, especially in high-growth regions like Africa,” says Nicola Mendelsohn, EMEA VP at Facebook.
Facebook knows that a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work when it comes to building products and solutions that address diverse local needs around the world, which is why it is committed to crafting solutions specifically for high-growth markets.
From testing new ad units ‘click to missed call‘ based on how people connect with each other, to enabling advertisers to customise campaigns for people depending on their device and connection speeds by using bandwidth targeting, Facebook is learning, testing, and optimising to provide the best experience for the next 100 million, and beyond.
Rob Norman, chief digital officer of Global Group M, puts it this way: “In Africa, we are seeing explosive growth and incredible momentum across the region. At the same time, when you look at the staggering cost of connectivity in many countries, mobile services need to deliver maximum utility on the biggest range of devices and consume the smallest amount of data, which is exactly what Facebook provides.”
Unilever’s director of global media, Jay Altschuler, says it’s the company’s mission to “connect our brands with the people we serve in order to help improve people’s health and well-being and enhance livelihoods. And we have found in Africa the best way to engage the people we serve is through mobile”.
Mendelsohn says Facebook has a lot of work ahead. “But we have a great team in place focusing on this effort. We are partnering with clients and agencies to test these mobile-first solutions and work together to deliver rich brand messages at lower data costs through solutions such as bandwidth targeting or new products.”
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