Facebook roundup: Foreign ads, mood experiment, App Links

As part of a push to grow emerging markets ad sales, Facebook (FB -1.3%) is testing "missed call" ads in India. The ads allow users to receive automated voice/text messages providing content (e.g. sports scores, music), along with a promotional message.

Facebook is also providing more custom ad options for foreign locales, and giving marketers the ability to target based on geographic data (already available in the U.S.).

Facebook still received 47% of its revenue from North America in Q1, even though the region accounted only 16% of its MAUs. North American ARPU ($5.85) dwarfed ARPUs for Europe ($2.44), Asia ($0.93), and all other markets ($0.70). Demographics make it virtually impossible to fully eliminate this gap, but narrowing it is a priority for the company.

Sheryl Sandberg has apologized for "poorly" communicating a controversial 2012 mood experiment. Facebook tweaked its news feed algorithm for ~700K users to see if changing the number of displayed positive or negative posts led users to post more positive or negative content. U.K. regulators plan to probe Facebook's actions.

Facebook says its App Links platform has been adopted by "hundreds of apps" (inc. Spotify, Hulu, and Vimeo) since launching on April 30, and has enabled over 1B links. App Links allows Facebook ads/posts to link directly to an installed app rather than a mobile Web page, and thus has the potential to boost mobile click rates and ad prices.

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