Facebook Might Launch 'Missed Call Ads' in India

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Since Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg is in India, most of the tech firms are with high hopes with regards to the changes that will follow her visit.

Facebook Might Launch 'Missed Call Ads' in India

It was reportedly said that India contributed less than a quarter of 1% of Facebook's global revenue in the year to March 31, 2013. Now since, Facebook's chief operation personnel is in the country talking to companies, and government officials, there are chances of the social networking site to enhance business further in the sub-continent. Moreover, she also said that it is the second largest market for Facebook.

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In the meantime, back in their house, Facebook's engineers are unveiling an ad innovation that could possibly make some of the deals easier. This is the new "missed call," ad facility.

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According to the Quartz India, "No one in India or much of the developing world needs an explanation of the utility of a missed call, but for those in the West, here's how I described it in a piece published in June. Missed call communication is when you call someone but hang up as soon as it rings. The idea is to send a simple, often pre-agreed, message without having to pay for the call: "I am waiting outside" or "Deliver some milk" or "I vote for this candidate on Indian Idol."

Facebook's big idea is to include a "missed call" button in ads on mobile phones in India.

How Will It Work?

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 - all without using airtime or data.

However, this is not a novel approach. The Indian arm of Unilever, a consumer-goods giant, has been running a similar promotion that allows people to make a missed call to trigger a return call that plays a radio station with Unilever ads. Indian talent shows have also long used missed calls to allow people to vote for contestants, instead of requiring them to dial a premium number.


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