Monday 12 August, 2013
Facebook now boasts around 1.1 billion users worldwide but that’s not everyone on earth yet, so now it’s targeting the rest with Facebook for Every Phone.
Facebook for Every Phone is Facebook’s attempt to reach people with antiquated phones. It’s a Java-based app that allows you to use Facebook on 3,000 different kinds of non-smartphones. We’re talking about phones that cost as little as $20 and are used especially in developing countries.
Why Every Phone?
Why does Facebook need to offer its services to old phones? The reason is that it wants to tap into markets in countries like India, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and the Philippines where smartphones aren’t widely used. These markets are considered the fastest growing in the world in terms of internet and social media use. Developed countries where smartphones are common already have high usage rates. These large population developing countries will be the major internet users of the future.
How Facebook for Every Phone Works
Facebook for Every Phone is designed to be as much like the smartphone version of the app as possible. It includes Facebook’s most popular features like its News Feed, email capabilities, photos and chat. It also integrates with the mobile phone’s contacts, just like the Facebook app for smartphones can. Facebook for Every Phone isn’t just limited to the basics. It has fancier features like its photo filters that allow users to edit their pictures just like Instagram.
Although the Facebook for Every Phone app is free, users still have to pay network charges for connecting to the internet. But many operators offer a 90-day free trial period in order to get their customers hooked. What this means is that users will end up paying more because of using the app, but the whole idea is to bring people together, Facebook’s mission.
Reviews of Facebook for Every Phone generally say good things about it. They say it’s user friendly and has a nice, clean interface. Reviews say that the app effectively brings the Facebook experience to the feature phone.
It’s been reported in the blogosphere that Facebook Ads has been updated to allow advertisers to target feature phones. This will allow advertisers to reach these developing markets.
100 Million Strong
By the end of July 2013, Facebook reported that over 100 million people are using Facebook for Every Phone each month. That’s just slightly under a tenth of the social media giant’s worldwide users, which is not a terribly significant number, but these users are essential for Facebook’s marketing strategy. This number is expected to grow over the next few years. Facebook for Every Phone is a sign that the big mobile push CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced months ago is bearing fruit.