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Facebook Partners With Telecomm Providers To Offer Discounted Mobile Data Usage

Earlier today, Facebook announced that it had reached an agreement with 18 mobile operators from 14 different countries to provide discounted data access for people using Facebook messaging.

Facebook has been working on a low cost alternative to the SMS for a while: in December, Facebook implemented an initiative which allowed anyone, regardless of whether they had a Facebook Messenger account or not, use the app by entering their name and mobile phone number.

The new discounted data allowance is somewhat targeted towards users in emerging countries:

  • From Africa: Etisalat in Egypt.
  • From Asia: Airtel and Reliance in India, AXIS, Indosat, Smartfren and XL Axiata in Indonesia, DiGi in Malaysia, SMART in the Philippines and DTAC in Thailand.
  • From Europe: Bakcell in Azerbaijan, Vivacom in Bulgaria, Three in Ireland, Tre in Italy and TMN in Portugal.
  • From the Middle East: STC in Saudi Arabia and Viva in Bahrain.
  • From South America: Oi in Brazil
In the announcement, Facebook provides some figures illustrating the popularity of Facebook messaging:
Three out of every four people on Facebook send a message on the platform each month, making messaging one of the most popular activities on Facebook. Today, Facebook messaging and chat can be accessed from more than 6,000 mobile phones via Facebook Messenger, Facebook for iOS and Android, Facebook for Every Phone, m.facebook.com and across other devices with Facebook integration.
It is not clear how long each agreement lasts, or if it will be extended to any other countries. The data allowance is seemingly a promotion: Facebook’s attempt to increase the usage of its mobile services in countries where it doesn’t currently have a strong foothold.

However, the last discount Facebook offered on its messenger service, a free VoIP calling service for users in North America, is still going strong, with many hoping that it will be introduced to other countries.

Do you use any of the mobile providers Facebook has partnered with? What is the service like?

Contact us on Twitter or leave your comments below.

Will Sigsworth

Follow us @SocialMediaF & @WillAtSMF

Facebook Partners With Telecomm Providers To Offer Discounted Mobile Data Usage Reviewed by Unknown on Monday, February 25, 2013 Rating: 5
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