Facebook’s Slideshow: A Bet on Low Video Production Costs and Affordable Data
In the span of a week, Facebook announced the release of the Slideshow, a new ad format that combines interactive static images to provide advertisers with an effective way to reach corners of the world with slower Internet connections, and reported stellar third-quarter financial results.
Facebook’s press release on October 29 implied that they released the new feature to increase online video consumption and engagement, stating: "We found that a 15-second slideshow can be up to 5x smaller in file size than a video of the same length,” and that the Slideshow was a “new way to tell brand stories to people everywhere.” The Slideshow will be up and rolling by December 2015, including in the LAC region.
Th news was followed up with the company’s reports of financial results for the third quarter on Wednesday, November 4th, which saw a revenue increase of 41% from the same period a year before, exceeding the expectations of Yahoo’s poll of industry analysts.
We found that a 15-second slideshow can be up to 5x smaller in file size than a video of the same length.
Reaching the developing world is key to Facebook’s goal of bringing in the next billion users to its social media platform, which currently has 496 monthly active users in the Asia-Pacific region. That region raked in $623 million in sales for the company in the second quarter alone. Facebook’s Internet.org, whose mission is to expand internet access across the globe, has brought 15 million people online in 29 countries so far, and 50 million people currently use the company’s Android app, “Lite,” which gives people with low bandwidth connections access to the social network.
The Coca-Cola company was one of the first companies to use the Slideshow, testing it in Kenya with great success: the campaign for the brand’s new show, “Coke Studio Africa,” reached two million people and increased ad awareness by ten points in the country.
“It is important to understand that there are emerging markets in LAC Region that are still experiencing a slow broadband penetration and high costs for Mobile Data Plans. This has been diminishing user experience, especially with video platforms and ad formats,” says Humberto Cruz, Head of Socialyse (the social media unit at Havas Group).
Aside from reaching larger audiences, the Slideshow will be game-changing for those with smaller advertising budgets. “It is important to keep in mind the investment required to shoot and edit a video, regularly is often beyond the reach of advertising budgets. Slideshow reduces the need for video production time and resources, and because of its smaller file size, it extends eye-catching ads to people on basic devices or with poor connectivity,” says Cruz.
Cruz also believes that all sectors and categories will benefit from this development, although local markets may have specific needs. “Generally speaking, relevant sectors like Entertainment and FMCG could be directly benefit from this format across all LAC. Because of their business nature, they are taking advantage of Video Ads for Broadband segments, but not considering slow connection segments because of Telecom infrastructure issues in the Region.”