Facebook moves into new markets as low-powered app hits 100 million users

  • @jjvincent

Facebook have announced a new milestone with more than 100 million people using Facebook For Every Phone each month.  The app, which is designed for low-tech feature phones to use as little data as possible, is powering the company’s growth in new markets.

A statement from Ran Makavy, Facebook’s Growth Manager, said: “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.”

“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.”

Speaking to the New York Times, Clark Fredericksen, a vice president at eMarketer, said “In a lot of foreign markets, people think that the Internet is Facebook.”

Facebook For Every Phone was launched in July 2011, powered by technology created by Snaptu – an Israeli based mobile platform that specialized in bringing smartphone-like applications to feature phones.

As well as the app, Facebook are also pushing into developing markets by making deals with carriers to offer free or discounted data access when using the social network.

"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.

The countries where feature phones are most prevalent include India, Indonesia, Mexico, Brazil and Vietnam. In India, for example, smartphones only make up 10% of the market.

Although ads are not yet the norm in Facebook For Every Phone, the company is being far-sighted, taking an early loss in order to win the loyalty of millions and millions of users for the future.