Facebook has introduced a new feature for advertisers that allows them to target ads to users on a specific type of mobile network (2G/3G/4G), thereby ensuring that creative campaigns are delivered in an appropriate way for different users around the world. It already allowed targeting by device type, model and operating system of a mobile device, and it now allows targeting by the type of mobile network being used, it wouldn’t be much use trying to serve high-quality video ads to 2G users in a developing market.
Facebook today counts more users, and faster growth, outside of its home market of the U.S. than it has inside it, but the U.S. still accounts for nearly half of all the social network’s ad revenues. To help boost the ratio in emerging, rapidly expanding markets, where mobile devices are the primary means for going online, today Facebook said it would turn on a new piece of ad tech called bandwidth targeting: bandwidth targeting will give advertisers the ability to send ads based on the quality of a user’s network connection, moderating type of ad to whether a user is on a 2G, 3G or 4G / faster connection. An illustration of how ads could look in practice, trialled on services in Thailand, is above. Facebook said that the feature is rolling out globally starting today through its Ad Create tool, Power Editor and the API. That means that technically, bandwidth targeting could also be used in markets like the U.S. to, say, serve rich media ads to people on 4G connections, while giving those on slower phones and less connectivity, a more pared-down, less annoying experience.