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Facebook sees ad efforts catching on in developing countries

The world's largest social network says it sees promising results from its Creative Accelerator program to attract ad dollars in emerging markets.

Facebook wants to be sure advertisers like where it's headed, and it says it's getting some positive results globally.

The social network's Creative Accelerator program, which launched in March, has attracted brands like Coca-Cola and Nestle to advertise in developing countries, and the program is also boosting its mobile ad revenue, the company said Wednesday.

Facebook says Coca-Cola's mobile-ad campaign in Kenya was a success. Facebook

The accelerator program is a part of Facebook's larger efforts to expand into regions of the world with limited or slow online access -- in this case, the goal is to help advertisers create "visual brand stories" for a wide variety of mobile devices and connection types. That requires photos and videos to load quickly and play smoothly, even where networks aren't especially robust.

The results have been promising, Facebook said. It cited a recent photo ad campaign for Coke in Kenya, where "ad recall" increased by 18 percent compared to similar campaigns in the region. And in India, where there are more than 125 million Facebook users, Nestle's "Theatre in a Cup" campaign increased awareness by 9 percent.

More broadly, Facebook has been gearing itself to attract users in developing nations in areas including Africa, South America and Asia. It recently introduced an app called Facebook Lite, designed for customers with low-end phones and poor cell reception, while it also has ambitions through its initiative to use flying drones to beam Internet access to remote areas of the planet.

Mobile access is the key here. More than 1 billion people use Facebook from a mobile device at least once a month, the company said in April, up 24 percent from the same time last year. Of Facebook's $3.32 billion in revenue from advertising in the first quarter, 73 percent came from ads shown on a mobile device. By 2019, nearly 90 percent of its users will regularly access it via a mobile device, according to estimates from eMarketer.

Additionally, more than 90 percent of users who come back on Facebook in countries such as India, the United Kingdom and Indonesia do so through mobile, the company said. More than 85 percent of Facebook users in the Middle East, Africa and Brazil follow a similar routine as well.

Part of the attraction is the ability to post and watch video -- including ads, Facebook said.

In just a year, the number of video posts created by Facebook users increased 75 percent globally. That figure includes those living in the United Arab Emirates (138 percent), the UK (88 percent), Australia (52 percent) and South Korea (36 percent).

According to Facebook, users in the Middle East consume more videos per person than any other region in the world.