Facebook earlier indicated that the mobile market is yet to be explored. It seems like they are heading right into that road. In the smartphone market, Facebook is predominant. However, when it comes to the feature phone market, Facebook’s presence isn’t much felt. In order to bridge the gulf, Facebook dishes out a new app for all types of mobile phone users. The app is called ‘Facebook for Every Phone’ and will be available globally on Java-enabled phones. It is downloadable from http://m.facebook.com and consists of low bandwidth News Feed, Facebook Messages inbox and photo sharing facility.
In a Note on the Facebook Mobile Page, Facebook spoke of how to use the app. The Note reads, “People all over the world can download the app by visiting m.facebook.com and scrolling down to the download link, or by entering d.facebook.com/install directly into their mobile browser.” This is really a smart move by Facebook because it has over 250 million users to access the site via mobile devices. So, making it available to more than 2500 feature phones means more people will visit the site and stay longer on it, which is likely to result in increased brand engagement.
Facebook had launched an app for feature phones, earlier this year, in association with Snaptu and later went on to acquire the feature phone app developer in March. The launch of the new app seems to be a rollout of that partnership though nothing has been mentioned. Soon after the acquisition, Snaptu had mentioned, “We’ll be working hard to offer a richer and more advanced Facebook app on virtually every mobile phone.”
Facebook has taken some measures to make the app more usable and affordable. For that, Facebook has tied up with a number of carriers globally to give users free data access to the app for first three months. In India, Facebook has tied up with Aircel, Airtel, Idea and Reliance to offer free data access. Facebook is accessed by 23 million users in India and the number is increasing at a steady rate. With this app Facebook is expected to see even more usage in the country as a major share of mobile devices used are feature phones.