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October 15, 2016
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Facebook Shows Respect by Blocking Facebook Ads in Thailand

Due to the recent passing of Thailand’s leader, Facebook have uncharacteristically blocked all Facebook ads in the country for an undetermined amount of time as a show of respect.

As the nation mourns the passing of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the social media giant stated that the recent move is due to a “cultural custom”.

A spokesperson for Facebook was quoted as saying “Thailand is in a period of mourning due to the death of the King and removal of ads is a cultural custom, we don’t yet know the duration of the mourning period. We’ll keep you posted of any additional details as they become available.”

As the world’s longest reigning monarch, a funeral was held for Adulyadej, drawing thousands to the city of Bangkok. The event was televised, although screens went black when it came to the traditional bathing of the body.

Many Thai citizens are wearing only black and white colours as a show of respect and remembrance. Many websites and television stations have also gone monochrome as a show of respect, including this brief monochrome Google.

The decision to remove ads in Thailand has come as a shock to many, due to it being a first for the company. There are an estimated 37 million users in Thailand, mostly accessing the social giant from mobile devices. According to Facebook’s chief operating officer, this audience posts roughly three times more frequently than the average global user.

A recent study has found that the yearly ad spend in Thailand is around $81.7 million, meaning that the social network could be losing out on as much as
$6.8 million monthly during this blackout. Though it must be noted that is a rough estimate.

As part of an effort to bolster the company in emerging markets, Facebook recently set up it’s first office in the country.

Facebook have helped local companies in Thailand tailor their ads to cultural norms and adjust bid amounts based on bandwidth speeds as part of this effort.
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After facing criticism that it’s basic free services are heavily geared towards the west such as the “safety check” feature in the event of a disaster, Facebook have been vamping up efforts in emerging markets such as Thailand and India.

If you want up to date news and the inside scoop on all things facebook you may like this article about the New Facebook Feed Experiments in Australia.

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