Facebook has announced that 100 million people are now using their low-powered app for feature phones, Facebook For Every Phone.
Designed specifically for budget, low-tech feature phones, the app uses the smallest amount of data possible.
Part of its attempt to enhance growth in new markets, Facebook has announced that 100 million people are now using the Facebook For Every Phone app, some of which are signing in from the world’s poorest countries.
“This is an important milestone for us,” said Ran Makavy, Growth Manager for Facebook. “Facebook’s mission is to make the world more open and connected, and Facebook For Every Phone enables people around the globe to connect to the people and things they care about most, no matter what kind of mobile device they use.”
Facebook For Every Phone is used to regularly access the social media site from more than 3,000 different models of feature phones. Some of these handsets cost around $20 so Facebook has ensured that Facebook For Every Phone users can download their Facebook feed and photographs for little or no data charge.
Instead, network providers and feature phone manufacturers subsidise the costs.
“Today, millions of people in developing markets like India, Indonesia and the Philippines are relying on this technology to connect with Facebook, without having to purchase a smartphone.”
The Facebook For Every Phone app is actually run on Facebook’s own servers, with a design that aims to mimic the smartphone experience.
Facebook hasn’t yet introduced advertising to the feature phone Facebook app, so it currently makes no money from the 100 million users.
“In a lot of foreign markets, people think that the Internet is Facebook,” said Clark Fredricksen, a Vice President at eMarketer.
Launched in July 2011 and powered by Snaptu technology, the Facebook For Every Phone app is more focused on expanding the Facebook user base rather than profits.
It can be downloaded for feature phone users around the world from the browser or phone maker app stores.
“In just two years, Facebook for Every Phone has successfully put Facebook into the hands of millions of people around the world with limited access to the internet, giving them the power to connect and share,” added Makavy.
Next, read our review of Facebook Home – the social network Android skin.