Facebook Slideshow is video ads for slow connections

In an ideal world, we would all be connected to the Internet through high-speed networks that make buffering a thing of the past. In an ideal world like this, content creators and advertisers would be able to reach us, their audience, almost instantaneously. But we don't live in an ideal world. We live in a world where some are lucky to have a 2G Internet connections at all. Such a situation is, of course, bad news for advertisers, especially those with video ads. Luckily for them, Facebook is coming to the rescue with Slideshow.

The name says it all. Slideshow is simply a sequence of images, with an optional transition effect in between. Facebook realizes that videos are just to costly on some Internet connections, either in loading times or in direct data consumption costs. The solution it offers is Slideshow, but unfortunately it's really a solution only for advertisers, to allow them to inundate users with ads regardless of their current bandwidth speed.

Slideshow, in fact, makes it extremely easy for ad creators to target users with superslow connections or with feature phones. They simply upload 3 to 7 images or choose from Facebook's stock gallery, select a time range to run the slideshow, from 5 to 15 seconds, and they're good to go. Facebook's studies say that a 15 second slideshow is not only smaller in file size but just as effective as a 15 second video ad. Plus, there is no audio, so it isn't as annoying. It's just to say that there will be no escaping ads of Facebook, regardless of the speed and quality of your Internet connection.

This is just the latest in Facebook's attempts to scale down its experience to slower bandwidth situations, along with a simpler Facebook mobile app and other projects. Just this week, it revealed "2G Tuesdays" that intentionally throttled the company's network speeds so that employees will be able to experience first hand what it feels like to live with such a slow Internet connection.

It's a nice step forward in the quest to address the rest of the world who don't have fast Internet speeds. That said, we're still a long way from being able to enjoy cat videos that same way.

SOURCE: Facebook