Facebook knows, like all developers once understood, that bandwidth and devices impose constraints and enable features for content and advertising.
That remains a reality in many markets–including rural parts of South Asia and Southeast Asia–where 2G might be the expected network for many users, and feature phones are widely used.
So Facebook does not assume that its content and advertising can be created and displayed in a “one size fits all” way. All users are not on high end devices and 4G networks.
To put it another way, Facebook looks different on a feature phone than it does on a smartphone.
The creative specs for feature phones and older smartphones differ from newer devices.
Bandwidth-based targeting on Facebook gives advertisers the ability to send ads based on the quality of a person’s network connection.
Brands are now able to develop and send rich media ads, such as videos, to people on faster connections and more relevant pieces of content, such as still images, for those accessing Facebook on a weaker connection.
Nikila Srinivasan, Facebook’s product manager of emerging markets monetization, says targeting an ad’s creative elements based on device and bandwidth improves ad effectiveness.
Users on smartphones and faster networks might see a video, while users with low-end and feature phones just see an image.
In another case, users in urban areas might see different ad than users in rural areas.
The point, all stretched analogies to network neutrality notwithstanding, is that user experience benefits from code, features and services optimized for bandwidth and device constraints.