MENLO PARK, CA: As part of its strategy to expand into emerging markets, Facebook has rolled out a new "Slideshow" video ad feature to overcome slow connectivity speeds in many parts of the world.

The social network's aim is to make it easier for brands to reach millions of potential consumers, who currently rely on old phones or 2G and 3G networks, while also helping small businesses with little video knowledge to create engaging ads.

Facebook announced the launch in a blog post and at an event at its head office in California where delegates were told that most Facebook users watch at least one video a day, but their experience differs because of varying connection speeds.

Slideshow is a "lightweight" video ad format, the company explained, that can be created from just three to seven still photos and lasts between five and 15 seconds.

As Slideshow takes five times less to load than traditional video ads, Facebook said this would make ads on the format more accessible for viewers on slower networks.

Facebook added that Slideshow costs less per view than video ads and it will be rolled out over the coming weeks to the Power Editor and Ads Manager tools.

"Slideshow reduces the need for video production time and resources, and because of its smaller file size, it extends eye-catching ads to people on basic devices or with poor connectivity," the company said.

According to the blog post, Coca-Cola has used the format already in Kenya and Nigeria to raise awareness of the new season of its show, Coke Studio Africa.

Ahmed Rady, marketing director of Coca-Cola Central, East and West Africa, said the campaign had reached two million people, or double its target audience, and raised ad awareness by 10 points in Kenya.

"We recognise that our consumers may have constraints when accessing video content, hence the slideshow option by Facebook is spot on in enabling us to still deliver impactful and quality content," he said.

Data sourced from Facebook; additional content by Warc staff