Facebook Targets Feature Phone Users With New App
Although smartphones are certainly growing in popularity, many users still find that feature phones suit their needs just fine. Facebook recognizes this, so the company is rolling out an app designed specifically for feature phone users. The new app is built on the Snaptu mobile-app platform. It provides many of the social networking site’s popular features such as photos and Facebook’s familiar user experience.
"The Facebook for Feature Phones app works on more than 2,500 devices from Nokia, Sony Ericsson, LG and other manufacturers, and it was built in close cooperation with Snaptu," said Mark Heyden, a program manager at Facebook. "The app provides a better Facebook experience for our most popular features, including an easier-to-navigate home screen, contact synchronization, and fast scrolling of photos and friend updates."
Heyden is among the group of people who uses a feature phone. He said Facebook wants all users to have a great mobile experience, regardless of which type of phone they use. Heyden also said Facebook wants to make the app available to as many people as possible. To that end, Facebook has worked with mobile operators around the world to make it possible for Facebook users to try the app without incurring data charges.
To date, Facebook has convinced 14 mobile operators to provide free data access to users when they use the new Facebook mobile app during the first 90 days after launch. These operators include Dialog, Life, Play, StarHub and Vodafone. Currently, all of the participating carriers are outside the U.S. Facebook hopes to make the app available through additional carriers in more countries during the next few months.