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Glossary of Mobile Advertising Terms

Frequency / Frequency Capping

What is Frequency / Frequency Capping?

Frequency/Frequency Capping is the average number of times an ad is shown to a unique user during a specific time period. That number can be capped (restricted), hence the term frequency capping. This feature limits the maximum number of views a specific user can see a specific ad within a given time period.

How does frequency capping work?

For example, you can limit a user that after he sees a specific ad two times, he won’t see it again until 24 hours have passed. Frequency capping comes in handy if you want to limit the maximum number of times a person sees a particular ad. It’s also used to avoid overexposing visitors with ads which can lead to response drops.

That being said, if your aiming for the brand awareness you should think twice before using frequency capping as it might do more harm than good. On the other hand, in social media, you’re probably better off with using the feature as there is a possibility of negative comments which can hurt your brand image.

In truth, there is no best practice for all campaigns as it all depends on campaign goals and on the services/products that are being advertised. As such, it’s always recommendable to test things and see what frequency cap (if any) suits you the best.