Facebook Bringing “Missed Call” Ad Feature In India
Facebook isn’t something ephemeral. It’s become a part of our lifestyle. We wake up to multiple notifications on Facebook, and sleep by posting updates that become other’s morning notifications. Such is the importance of the service that we often turn to it for news from across the globe.
However, Facebook is facing a challenge, and that is growth. The company is facing a hard time fighting off services such as LINE, Hike and numerous other messengers that more and more people are turning to.
People are gaining more interest in sending stickers to friends or updating their statuses on WeChat, playing multiplayer games with other LINE users and so on. To tackle the problem, Facebook did buy WhatsApp, but that alone isn’t to be enough now.
The world’s largest social network is now experimenting a new type of advertisement feature in India. Targeting one of the world’s largest developing countries for a new feature, many might label that as bold, but the new “missed call” feature actually may be useful to many.
It’s not much really; if you see an ad on Facebook that you particularly interesting, you can place a missed call to the number listed along with the app and you will assuredly get a call back, giving you more information across many fields – cricket scores, news updates, celebrity scoop, and more.
Leaving missed calls is a common phenomenon in India, which started with India’s mobile revolution when call rates by telecom operators were sky high. That isn’t the case these days, but Facebook wants to believe that Indians love the concept of missed calls nonetheless.
Facebook is presently working on scaling up this product to target a wider audience. At present, the company is running several different experiments in emerging markets across the globe. Brazil, Turkey, South Africa, to name a few have their own projects running. But the “missed call” ad feature is localized to India.
Not just that, Facebook is working to make the life of advertisers simpler. Advertisers can now target an entire state instead of having to list multiple cities. Similar features are expected to roll out in Indonesia, South Africa, Nigeria, Turkey and other markets.
“Missed call” or missed target?
The new “missed call” ad feature is certainly a good idea. I mean, not only do you get information regarding something you are interested in delivered to your earpiece, but you don’t even have to pay for airtime. Neither are any data charges levied on you for the information.
For customers, this will look as good as “free”, which is one of the biggest attracters to almost anything in India.
Whether Facebook’s experimental ad feature hits or misses its target in India remains to be seen.
What do you think?