Facebook to Introduce ‘Missed Call’ Ads in India

Social juggernaut Facebook is introducing Missed Call Ads in India. The company is targeting the feature phone users that will be able to get all the info with one click.

After implementing target and personalized advertising, the social juggernaut, Facebook has now found another intuitive way for advertisers in India to get to the users.

Targeting Indian users, Facebook is now testing a new kind of advertisement that will allow users to click on the ad and directly connect to the brand advertisers.

The user won’t be charged much as the phone will get disconnected instantly, and later receive a recorded message from the advertisers that will have all the information which include cricket updates, celebrity news and more.

The service is powered by startup Zipdial.


The company is calling it “missed-call” ad, and there is a reason why it is likely to work with Indian users. The home to 1.2-billion people, India only has around 150 million smartphone users. About 66% people are carrying feature phones that lack touch screen capability, and hence they can’t interact much with the content on screen — at least not that easily.

The missed-call phenomenon exhibits a peer-to-peer user behaviour that is rather a common practice in India to get people their friend’s attention or send a signal of sorts. It allows the companies to directly get in touch with the customers. And customers get the information they were seeking for no charge.

Over the past few years, Facebook has conducted several hundreds of these experiments. It utilized personalized ads — catering users only the kind of advertisements that they are likely to purchase, to super cookies — that allowed the website to track you even after you had signed out. Or, conducting a social experiment, which got the company a lot of heat.

The company also introduced Home, an Android launcher that basically turned your phone into Facebook Phone, and pushes your Facebook updates everywhere — expanding its footprints into your personal data.

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is in India right now trying to explore more business opportunities. As we previously noted, there are only 1.9 billion smartphone users around the world. In next 4-5 years, the number will get close to 6 billion. Which means that about twice as many people will start using and interacting with smartphones and these services.

Thus, every technology company is prioritizing their strategy to focus on these people who are more inclined towards spending less money. Google recently announced Android One — the Nexus like smartphones that will cost less than $100. Apart from increasing the Android user-base, it will bring more people to use Hangouts and Google Plus. Twitter also realized that it needs to step up its game to get money out of regions like India. Facebook is aware, and it wants to do something about it.

Image Credit: 1000 Words / Shutterstock.com

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