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Facebook For Every Phone app hits 100M users

App gives non-smartphone users access to Facebook mobile, is a key part of globalization strategy

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
July 22, 2013
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/30c4

Facebook has become a part of the establishment, with so many users that young people are beginning to see it as part of the old guard. So, in order for the company to keep growing, or to make up for potentially lost users in its established countries, it has to find new markets in untapped regions of the globe.

And it seems like that strategy is now starting to pay off, with the announcement that the Facebook For Every Phone app, which allows people without smartphones to have mobile access to the network, has surpassed 100 million users.

"This is an important milestone for us. 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," Ran Makavy, Growth Manager at Facebook, wrote in a blog post.

"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."

Launched in July of 2011, Facebook For Every Phone, which is is powered by technology created by Snaptu, includes Facebook’s most popular features, including News Feed, Messenger and Photos. Users can create a new account and find friends, and they can do it from feature (meaning not smart) phones.

The app uses less data than other Java apps and mobile sites, which helps users who might have limited data plans. In addition, Facebook has partnered with mobile operators around the world to offer free or discounted data access to Facebook For Every Phone and it now works on more than 3,000 different types of feature phones from almost every handset manufacturer.

"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," said Makavy.

Facebook For Every Phone is, of course, not the only way that the social network has been trying to establish itself in new markets.

In September, Facebook teamed up with Myriad Group, which develops services for feature phones. Facebook wants to open up in new markets, and it is going to use its mobile service to do it.

Myriad was chosen by Celcom in Malaysia, Indosat in Indonesia and Mobilyin Saudia Arabia to bring social mobile messaging services to 70 million users through its text-based Myriad Updates service. By partnering with Myriad, it would bring Facebook to millions of new users in these previously untapped markets.

Facebook also updated its Messenger for Android app, now letting non-Facebook users to sign up for the service.

The app, which was only be available for those with a Facebook account, will now be open to anyone who wants it. The roll out for the new feature began in five countries, India, Australia, Indonesia, Venezuela and South Africa, before it reached the rest of the world.

(Image source: http://www.wired.co.uk)