Facebook is testing advert rates in Naira. The implications for Nigerians

October 4, 2016
3 min read

Maybe you have noticed; Facebook is now displaying advert rates for pages and businesses in Naira. If you have not, it is probably because of the gradual roll-out process the social network applies to test updates on the platform.

Usually, when Facebook introduces an update, a few users are granted first access for an unspecified period. If the update achieves satisfactory results, other users are then allowed access. This method varies from Twitter's where only users on the beta testing programme are allowed exclusive preview of updates before others.

There is no selective rhyme to Facebook's update test. As one of the selected few to receive the update, I decided to take an observatory look at the intent of the currency change for Facebook ads.



The update came nearly two weeks ago, I waited to see if it was a transient experiment but apparently, more user accounts for Facebook ads are being changed from the normal Dollar rates to Naira.

The change in the currency does not affect the rates as charges are still calculated at the official conversion rate -- $1 = ₦310.250. However, prices still reduce as the number of ads increase.


What is not exactly clear is if after paying for an advert, your account will be debited at your bank's normal rates or the advertised official rates (₦310). I already setup a mini ad campaign; I will update this accordingly as soon as my banks sends an alert.

What the fuss is really about

Nothing. The usual rates for Facebook ads are shown in Dollars are charged to your account at your bank's rate. Facebook recently released figures that quote 4 million businesses as actively advertising on its platform. According to the report,

"....the fastest growing region is South East Asia with the following countries: Vietnam, Indonesia, Greece, Ukraine and Philippines. The top five countries based on yearly growth are: U.S, Brazil, Vietnam, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Over 85 per cent of business Pages use mobile and 40 per cent of active advertisers have created a Facebook ad on mobile. Findings have also shown that more than 30 per cent small and medium sized business pages on Facebook are women owned. Facebook’s simplest tools have helped convert these businesses to advertise. Two top examples are boosted posts or promoted pages."

It is uncomfortable not seeing an African country anywhere in the metrics. It is equally cringeworthy that the most populous black nation on earth did not get a worthy mention most especially with the rise and rise of the internet business machine in these parts.

If Nigeria's exclusion from this metric is worrisome, it is probably safe to say this inclusion of the Naira is Facebook's actionable worry -- a means to make the currency relatable to attract more Nigerian businesses to advertise on the platform.

Have you paid for adverts with the new Naira rates? If yes, please share your experience in the comment section below.

Photo Credit: majjed2008 Flickr via Compfight cc

tech. media. startups. africa. vc | Twitter: @victor_ekwealor
tech. media. startups. africa. vc | Twitter: @victor_ekwealor
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tech. media. startups. africa. vc | Twitter: @victor_ekwealor

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