After Facebook apps for the mobile space, the company, in collaboration with Snaptu, created a mobile application for feature-phones as well. In India, where the majority of users are not using high end smart-phones but are still using mostly Nokia feature-phones, this opens up the social network to millions of users.
Facebook continues its meteoric growth worldwide and in India too the company has been very successful. The interaction with Facebook over SMS has also been very positive and company leaders say people are more active and engaged when interacting with Facebook over SMS. At the same time, in a country like India, where handsets are still dominated by Nokia, even though a new wave of Android phones might well change the picture at the ground level, the actual change is still a way off.
Feature-phone users have a more limited access to the popular social networking site, having to interact mostly through SMS, but now, in collaboration with Snaptu, Facebook has made available a version of the website which can be run on lower end feature-phones as well. While this will eventually be a paid application, Snaptu is currently working with a lot of service providers around the world, including Reliance India, to bring the application to subscribers for free.
The new app will also include access to other services, like news, weather, LinkedIn and ESPN, to name a few. It will give users of feature-phones access to photos and other interactions which are limited to smart-phones on the mobile front. To see if your phone is compatible, all you have to do is visit Snaptu’s mobile website from your handset.
On the Snaptu blog, Facebook Head of Mobile Business, Henri Moissinac, said that the new application will allow people to have a high quality and high speed mobile application, in an affordable way. This sentiment was echoed by Snaptu CEO Ran Makavy too, who pointed out that in developing nations in particular, mobile phones are more dominant than computers, particularly the mass market phones. By reaching out to these people, companies like Snaptu can increase the size of the market in a very significant fashion and added that this sort of device agnostic product was crucial to long term growth for content providers. The full quotes from the Snaptu blog are reproduced below:
Henri Moissinac, Head of Mobile Business, Facebook, said, “We are always looking to enable people to easily access Facebook wherever they are, on whatever device they are on. This new Facebook mobile application developed in close cooperation with Snaptu helps give more people the ability to stay connected through Facebook via a high quality and high speed mobile application on feature phones in an affordable way.”
Snaptu CEO Ran Makavy,said, “In parts of the world where mobile phones are more popular than computers and mass market phones are dominant, Snaptu is changing people’s lives. We are delighted to bring these people the best possible social networking experience, as well as the range of invaluable services within the app, which many people will have access to via their phone for the first time.”
“The Snaptu platform provides the complete technical and distribution structure to help publishers and service owners massively expand their mobile user base and unravel the immense monetization potential in the global market. We are delighted Facebook has joined the likes of LinkedIn and ESPN to offer an outstanding user experience to all mobile users, regardless of their device,” he said.